The last two weeks have proven to be both controversial and troublesome for De La Salle College and the broader Catholic Church. With the Leader newspaper publishing in the past fortnight details of historical sexual abuse at Malvern and the global news coverage of Archbishop George Pell’s conviction, these are challenging times for those of us in Catholic education. These events and their impact on all associated with our school demand a response, and I know all in our community – students, staff, parents and Old Collegians – have a vested interest in how we are affected and how we deal with the situation.
Those who have been in and around our school for the past few years will know my position on the crimes and sins of abuse that occurred here in our College in the past, certainly in the 1960s and 1970s. Supported by the College Board, Executive Team, wider staff and the Lasallian Mission Council I have written and spoken to reiterate our position, which is unchanging.
La Salle College is committed to the safety and protection of all children and
young people in our care. We acknowledge and own the crimes of abuse in the
past, apologise to any and all victims and commit to any support we may be able
to provide. Central to our mission is to ensure all our students are cared for
involved at De La Salle offer our prayers, support, guidance and redress to
those victims whose trust was betrayed in such treacherous and damaging
fashion. I remain open and willing to speak with and support any of our past
survivors in the hope that we can provide some level of comfort.
decision to postpone our Opening and Welcoming Mass last week, communicated to
all families in my letter, was also out of respect for victims and all those
affected by the scourge of institutional abuse. I did not feel it was
appropriate for the service to go ahead under the shadow of George Pell’s
What is crucial for all of us now is to focus on the future. Catholic education and Lasallian education is certainly tainted by the events and articles of the past week, and we must maintain our commitment to our victims. However, in addition to that, I believe there is so much more to what we offer our young men at Malvern. In 2019 and beyond, our staff are committed to all that is good about our school and our traditions, combining the best of our 107 years with the innovations and hopes of the future.
is so much to be proud of and so much to aspire to at De La Salle. We continue
to develop wonderful young men of character and empathy through transmission of
Gospel values and seeing the potential for good in all. We always have been and
always will be, about building positive relationships, emphasising student
wellbeing and academic rigour in an environment built on the Five Core
Principles of a Lasallian education.
In 2017, the College formed a contractual partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation to ensure compliance with legislative requirements through an independent safeguarding accreditation process. By this time, De La Salle College had developed policies and procedures benchmarked against Ministerial Order 870 and was committed to further enhancing its systems and processes in an emerging environment that had become highly regulated.
In June 2018, the College underwent a Child Safe Standards Compliance Review with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, (VRQA), and achieved compliance with all Child Safe Standards.
As further evidence of our commitment to a safeguarding culture, the College audit demonstrated a very strong commitment to safeguarding children and young people. This includes the Board, Executive Team, the Deputy Principal – Students/Child Safety Officer and all levels of personnel. This is reflected by strong confidence and understanding amongst staff in relation to their roles and responsibilities in keeping children and young people safe from abuse and exploitation.
Historical abuse must remain an issue for contemporary leadership to address, along with the media reports providing varying degrees of accuracy regarding past events at De La Salle College, however, it is important for us to focus on the future. Our school is committed to providing an environment where all students are safe, valued and respected, capable of and encouraged to achieve great things.
Students today are growing up in what have been described as “Accelerated Times”. Progress and
change are moving at a pace that hasn’t been seen before in human history.
Things that were certain yesterday aren’t necessarily so today. This
acceleration has impacted how we live and work and also how we learn at school.
American academic John Kotter illustrates the pressures faced by business at
this point in time. He points out how important it is for companies to be ahead
of their competition by innovating and doing so quickly and aggressively.
Not all that long ago, commercial success was safely attached to quality, consistency and product reach. As an example, McDonalds became an international giant by making a reasonably simple, consistent product that could be made and sold on a global scale. These days, that is not enough.
Businesses need to adapt to markets that are saturated with choices for consumers. They need to be highly creative, seek out ways to make what they do different from anything else, what they offer more attractive, more available, cheaper. The same is true in education.
recent book Australia Reimagined, Hugh Mackay charts the move in Australian
schooling to a competition-based model. What that means is that schools are now
much more in competition with one another than they were.
Over the past seven years, Australian universities spent a staggering 1.7 billion dollars on advertising. Why?
There are a
number of reasons for this. One of the main ones is that tertiary institutions
are competing harder and harder for students, both local and international
population has seen a huge growth spike over recent years. Local residents
numbered 2.6 million people in 1971. Last year, the number reached 5 million.
It is expected to rise to 8 by 2051. With more people, there come more students,
which in turn, leads to greater competition for places in university courses,
and later, jobs.
Our Year 12 students are in competition. They compete
each year with students from across the state and even schools in other parts
of the world that deliver the VCE. That even includes students in a handful of
schools in China and the United Arab Emirates, amongst others.
The competition is intense. So, how can every student at the College, not just those currently in Year 12, best prepare to be competitive and successful?
That will be different for each student, but I’ll highlight two things that may be useful to everyone. The first is about the idea of developing Personal Mastery. This is a concept that comes from eminent academic Professor Peter Senge. He describes it as one of a set of qualities that he calls the 5 Learning Disciplines. There are similarities in Senge’s ideas with ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle’s virtues.
Senge’s concept of Personal Mastery is about an individual’s commitment to personal growth and improvement, about learning new skills, but additionally, it involves a person being clear and honest about their purpose, why they do what they do. Also, Personal Mastery requires vision – being able to see a different and better future for oneself and what choices need to be made to get there. He talks about the tension between reaching that better future and the pull of negative or unhelpful thoughts. The take home point here is to stay focussed on improving the skills that will help you reach the future that you want for yourself, and, throughout, to remain positive.
The second consideration is much closer to home in perspective — our own College’s Learning and Teaching Protocols.
What you see on the slide was created by a group of our teachers. It brilliantly describes the ways that effective learning & teaching can happen from Year 5 through to Year 12. The chart outlines the features of effective Learning Strategies, Learning Environment and Learning Goals. Soon, every classroom will have a copy posted on the wall so that it is prominent. This will help all of you to see the various ways that you may work on optimal learning for yourself, your peers and class. I would encourage you to use it as a reference when thinking about how your own skills may be further developed, your purpose for learning and creating your own unique vision for what success will look like for you in the future.
What we celebrate is how incredibly De La Salle students can rise in the face of intensity, pressure and competition. As their achievements of last year show, they have been disciplined and focused on the rewards that come from perseverance and hard work. The 2018 Year 12 students have assured themselves of University places in highly sought after courses and positioned themselves advantageously in an increasingly globalised workforce, economy and society. They have done this in a way that should inspire us all and make us feel very proud.
Please join me in congratulating them!
Mr Mark Gustincic Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching
Faith and Mission
Last Sunday, while sitting in Mass, I was never more acutely aware that I was surrounded by people, who like me, were struggling and affected by the same daily media news. I sat there and in a moment of weakness, I found myself questioning “how can I be strong in faith, when our Church is so conflicted and challenged?”
Whilst it can be an unsettling time and can lead us to ask the question of why we choose to belong to the Church, we must also unequivocally support and always remember the victims of abuse. We must also do all we can to ensure that the tragic events that they have lived never happen again.
Our Church is about making God’s love real in the world, by making Christ known and loved by the relationships we nurture, grow and care for with others. Our Church is about looking after the suffering, the marginalised, the poor and the vulnerable.
So as we begin this Lenten season, let
us remember those whose lives are tormented by the painful memory of sexual,
physical, mental and emotional abuse: this prayer is offered to them, their
families and friends. May they experience the love of Christ and may the Lord of all
tenderness and compassion, restore their hope and give them peace.
St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for Us Live Jesus in Our Hearts – Forever
Plenary Council — Student Session
On Tuesday 26 February, a representative group of the College Student Leadership Team was invited to participate in a listening, dialogue and submission process to the Australian Plenary Council.
A Plenary Council is a gathering of all
local churches in a country. And in Australia, the Plenary Council 2020 is
being held so that we can dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in
Pope Francis has spoken of the need to engage in
the world and respond in faith. He said:
“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.”
The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us
to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. It is important to
engage and embrace the voice of our students to ensure that they are included
in the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.
I would like to thank Mrs Joan Ferguson, College Chaplain for her assistance with facilitating this session.
Ash Wednesday – Wednesday 6 March
Lent is a time to stop
and reflect. It is a time to be still and a time to re-evaluate our lives and
the people we are becoming. It is also a time to think about how we can
make a difference, especially to the people around us.
In the middle of our busy week, we pause
together today as a faith community to observe Ash Wednesday. We prepare, to
begin our journey through Lent, Holy Week and Easter. God calls us to go beyond
ourselves and heed his call to give alms, to be charitable, to fast and to
pray. We are called to open our eyes, ears and hearts to the Lords word so that
we can truly understand what this means in our lives.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice
of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm
Sunday and placing them on the foreheads of participants to the accompaniment
of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”.
The ashes we receive are a reminder of the
simplicity of life. When we are marked with the ashes, we remember that we are
not perfect and the cross on our forehead reminds us that we are God’s children
and He is full of love for us and is ready to forgive us our sins.
On Wednesday morning, all staff participated in
an Ash Wednesday Liturgy in their respective campus Chapel. Students then
participated in class and mentor facilitated liturgies. Our Year 9 Holy
Eucharist students were able to attend Mass at Holy Eucharist Parish.
Mrs Rana Brogan Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission
Procedure for Early Leavers
A reminder that if your son is unwell whilst at school, he must
make his way to the Health Centre or sick bay at the campus he is located at.
The First Aid Officer or campus receptionist will then ring you to pick up your
son, if deemed appropriate. Students
must not call their parents directly to inform them that they are unwell and
want to go home.
Please be aware that students must follow correct procedure in
regard to leaving the College early. If students have an appointment and need
to leave early, they must present a signed note from you to their Year
Level/House Coordinator, receive an Early Leavers Pass and then present this to
reception when they leave. No student will be allowed to leave without this
Child Safety at De La Salle
As De La Salle College proudly acknowledges our accreditation by the Australian Childhood Foundation as a Safeguarding Children Organisation, I would like to acknowledge the work done by the Child Safety Team and wider staff at the College. All staff at De La Salle are trained and committed to ensuring the safety of the students at the College. The Child Safety Team – Mrs Joan Ferguson, Mr Andrew Wozencraft, Mrs Kylie Upton, Ms Jessica Stevenson, Ms Georgie Skinner, Mr Anthony Freeman, Ms Sandy Wreford, Mr David Alexander and I – work strategically to ensure that we are engaging best practice here at De La Salle, and offer support and guidance to our colleagues and students. We have also welcomed College Captain, Liam Jenkins, on to the Child Safety Team, in order to ensure that students’ voices are heard in regard to this important area of school life.
College Captain 2019
The 2019 College Captain, Liam Jenkins, gave a wonderful opening speech at the Academic Awards and Investiture Assembly on Friday 22 February. Click here to read the speech in full.
Ms Jessica Alger Deputy Principal — Students
Staff and Operations
Parent Teacher Interviews
Parent Teacher Interviews will be held on Wednesday 20 March and Thursday 28 March from 2:00pm until 8:30pm in the Tiverton Gym. Students will be dismissed after period 4.
Parents will have received this week a letter from the College with full details including Log-in information to make appointments. Please contact Mrs Angela Carlino at Tiverton if you experience any difficulty logging in.
Bookings will open to parents on Friday 8 March at 6:00am. And close on Monday 18 March at 11.59 pm. Parents are asked to make appointments with teachers who have requested an interview. The dinner break for staff is 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Students are expected to attend the interview in full
Mission Action Day
Mission Action Day is the College’s major social justice fundraising event for the year with all proceeds going to support Lasallian charitable works both in Australia and overseas.
Thank-you to all those boys who have already made an effort
to seek sponsorship for this event. There only about 4 weeks to go and boys
should be trying to achieve as many sponsors as possible. Every sponsor counts and will help push us a
College towards our $100000 target.
Parents have traditionally been very supportive of their sons in this
endeavour, but it is hoped that boys will not only rely on their parents but
seek sponsors from their wider social network or neighbourhood. As a guide we
ask that each boy aims for a target of $50 in total sponsorship.
Mission Action Day to be held on 5 April is a compulsory school day for all students. If any student is unable to attend, the College asks parents to offer a written explanation to be addressed to the appropriate YLC or House Coordinator.
Mr Tom Ryan Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations
Parents, please note that the date for Confirmation has been received.
Thursday 12 September St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly
Staff and Students gathered to
mark the beginning of our Lenten season with prayer and the signing of ashes on
each other’s forehead.
Lent is a season in which we are
challenged to make sacrifices of our time, our talent and our wealth in
preparation for the great feast of Easter.
Why give things up for Lent?
Life, we come to understand, is not only about joy. It is about the power to endure what is not joyful as well.
A group of our Year 6 students leading prayer in the Chapel on Ash Wednesday. The primary students were remembering that God’s love is unconditional, but like all love, it demands a response.
In a society that invites self-gratification at every level, it can be a challenge for young people to grasp the concept of denial. They can ask what difference does it really make; why is it important? Sacrifice makes each
of us aware that there are other people for whom we have a responsibility.
When our young people wish to achieve some physical success at sport, they work hard training, eating and sleeping well. It is easy to forget that if we are going to develop our spiritual selves we also need to train our willpower and strengthen our spirits through prayer and denial. Lent is our time as Christians to pay special attention to this side of our development.
Our students have been challenged to gain sponsors during Lent for Mission Action Day. MAD is the major fundraising event of the College, with funds raised used to assist the poor and disadvantaged both in Australia and abroad. Alongside the challenge of seeking the support of others is an even more important one — The question of ‘what can I personally go without? Can I offer the proceeds of my own sacrifice to MAD?’
It may be a good topic of discussion over the dinner table!
In response to a review of library services there have been huge changes in the libraries at De La Salle College this year. The library’s web presence, staff, look and resources have all been renewed and the statistics show that usage is up.
First up, the look been brightened up and our students love it. Lunchtimes in Tiverton Library are packed with Chess and UNO, homework and reading. It’s like a big lounge room!
The reading program has kicked off with each Year 5 to Year 8 class having fortnightly reading sessions in the library, with book recommendations from our Teacher Librarians. Loans are up, but the fact that the students are renewing their books shows that they are enjoying reading, and intend to finish the book.
The biggest impact has been the new library page on Ollie which is designed so that wherever a De La Salle College teacher or student is, they have the powerful resources of the library with them.
Some of the features:
The Encyclopaedia Britannica — suits year 5–12. Has three levels of language and a built-in “read-to-me” function
EBSCO journal database allows students to search for journal articles and every Australian newspaper. Fabulous for current topics. This also has a “read-to-me” function
Bibliography – Students need to be taught how to write a proper list of references to show where their information comes from. You will find a handy tool and a video to explain how to use it.
If you search the library catalogue, you can find books, and journal articles, newspaper articles, articles in Britannica, videos – recommended resources, all in one click… so why would you Google?
In addition, the Teacher Librarians are curating resources for classroom teachers to provide support and extension material for topics covered in the classroom.
This is only the first month. There is more to come!
One of the cornerstones of the Holy Eucharist program is giving our students a range of perspectives by learning from others. Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to hear from former Collingwood Premiership Captain Nick Maxwell who shared his varied journey to AFL success and life beyond football.
Nick faced several challenges in his pursuit to play AFL
including being overlooked for local development squads and the AFL draft
numerous times. Nick spoke of the importance of aiming high but also having a
Plan B; in his case this meant undertaking university studies in Ballarat and
working part time while pursuing a career in football. Nick asserted to
students ‘if you’re not failing, you’re not aiming high enough’ and spoke very
personally about the hurt he felt around just missing out on his dream for years.
His determination and resilience saw him eventually drafted to Collingwood and go on to not just perform on the field but also play a key role in their core leadership group. Nick declined to elaborate on his football playing days instead focussing on his life around football and the continuation in his life of ‘having a Plan B’. Today Nick helps create a positive organisational culture for a number of Melbourne based sporting teams and has gone on to do his Masters in Business Administration.
Nick offered some valuable insights into how a potential sportsman is viewed from every angle, advising our young men to think about the profile they establish for themselves in their own communities and online. He affirmed for our students that ‘you’re not responsible for everything that happens to you but you are responsible for how you respond’ and the examples he shared of his own journey in this regard had a lasting impact on our Year 9 group.
Ms Lauren Anderson Year 9 Learning and Teaching Leader
On Friday 1 March, seven Year 8 volunteers, Mrs Miller and I ventured out into the surrounding streets, in the heat, to pick up rubbish. Not the most glamorous of excursions, but definitely an important one.
Year 8 Volunteers
2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the very first Clean Up Sydney Harbour event started by Mr Ian Kiernan, AO in 1989 and this year De La Salle College was proud to participate in what has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event.
Taking action doesn’t have to stop here though. If you would like to continue the efforts, check out Love Our Streets and Love Our Beach — a joint organisation that run clean-up events on a monthly basis, taking place on a Saturday.
Miss Olivia Wenczel DLD — Curricula Programs and LATL Commerce
Almost a month ago I began my year of LaSallian Volunteering at La Salle College, Middle Swan in Perth. As a volunteer at La Salle, my role is working with the Indigenous students that board at La Salle as a means of having access to an education that they wouldn’t usually have access to at home in their communities.
The students, who are aged between 12 and 17, come from remote communities such as Balgo and Bililuna which are approximately 800km south-east of Broome. On a day-to-day basis, I go to school with the students, working in a similar role to a teacher’s assistant. This involves making sure they get to class, helping them in the classroom to ensure they do not fall behind, as well as helping serve their recess and lunch. After school, we come home, usually go for a swim in our pool and help the students to finish their homework.
Our work isn’t without challenges with the students liking to test our patience but it is all worth it when you see the effort and determination these kids put into their education. So far, volunteering at La Salle College has been a truly wonderful and awe-inspiring experience. These terrific kids constantly remind me to be appreciative of what we have and make the most of the opportunities that we are given in life.
Mr Joshua Paul College Vice-Captain 2018 and Lasallian Volunteer 2019
The Kinnoull Oval was the scene of much activity at the Primary Welcome Picnic held on Thursday 21 February. The atmosphere was great – very social amongst the parents and very active amongst the students and their siblings. Thanks to Lou Harris and Michelle Peterson, our Primary YLRs, for their hard work in encouraging a great turn out and organising some great games for the students and their siblings to play. Thanks also to Mr Tim Hogan and the Applied Learning students who once again supplied a great BBQ service. What a great start to the year for our Primary classes.
Year 9 Holy Eucharist Welcome Mass and BBQ
On Sunday 24 February Year 9 students and their families joined in the celebration of mass with the Holy Eucharist congregation. This was followed by a tour of the new Campus and a BBQ hosted by the Parent Network. Thanks to Mr David Alexander for taking on the idea of a great introduction to the new campus and making it such a successful event.
Our Year 9 YLRS, Louise MacNamara and Linda Curnow
(supported by Sharon Herdman), did an amazing job organising the catering,
recruiting and coordinating numerous volunteers and transforming the back of
the Holy Eucharist basketball court into a shady BBQ oasis. Thanks also to Angela Carlino and Patricia
D’Arcy for helping with the logistics in preparation for this event.
The Parent Network would like to acknowledge the support of Bunnings Chadstone, who donated a BBQ, gas bottle and cooking equipment to the Holy Eucharist Campus. The students are very excited at the prospect of being able to run their own ‘sausage sizzles’ at the new Campus. Thanks also to Bakers Delight Carnegie and Woolworths Carnegie North for donations of supplies towards the BBQ.
Upcoming Events For 2019
Please add the dates of our upcoming events to your 2019
diary. We look forward to seeing you there!
Lasallian Zeal Achievement and Recognition, implemented in 2018, aims to enhance the positive learning community at De La Salle, where students feel respected and valued.
The five Core Lasallian Principles encompass the categories of achievement and recognition known as Lasallian Zeal.
Lasallian Zeal encourages students to set higher goals for themselves, to achieve their personal best by affirming and rewarding positive learning behaviours. Motivation to learn is grown through recognition and involvement in community life.
Students are presented with a certificate and a Lasallian Zeal badge according to a tiered system from Bronze to Plantinum, and celebrated in the Duce.
Bronze Lasallian Zeal 10 awards
Silver Lasallian Zeal 20 awards
Gold Lasallian Zeal 30 awards
Platinum Lasallian Zeal 40 awards
9 Group 2
9 Group 1
Congratulations to those students who have been recognised for their achievements!
De La Salle College would like to ask for your co-operation in an important matter.
Members of our school community receive medical treatment which puts them at serious risk if they are exposed to infectious illnesses, in particular: chicken-pox, measles, mumps or shingles.
For chicken-pox, shingles and measles a special protective injection is
available, however, it is only effective if given within 72 hours of exposure,
and only lasts for one month.
If your son is suspected of having one of these illnesses it is very important that they do not attend school. It is also important that while your son is unwell they remain at home until they are no longer contagious.
If your son has chicken-pox, measles, mumps or shingles or is suspected of
having a contagious disease please contact the schoolimmediately.
The College values your support for the wellbeing of all our students. Please don’t hesitate to contact De La Salle Health Centre, if you have any questions.
Mrs Kylie Upton Health Centre
Latest changes in Ollie
Parents are encouraged to view subject courses online via our College Learning Management System Ollie.
Parents now have access to view all subjects available at the College. To view courses click on the subject’s icon located at the top of your Ollie screen. This will assist in keeping parents abreast of the upcoming work in each of your son’s subjects. Parents have access to view due dates, submitted work as well as all student’s results and feedback entered by his subject teacher on Ollie. We also ask that you ensure your son is utilising the Ollie calendar to record his homework. Parents and teachers are able to view your son’s Ollie calendar to view homework and to work together in supporting your son’s organisation and homework load.
Over the coming weeks in the lead up to the House Sports Carnival, House pages, will be, made available to keep you up to dates with all the latest information regarding your son’s house. For further information on how Ollie enables you to be involved in your son’s learning journey at the College please refer to the Parent User Guide located on the Ollie homepage.
Mr Rob Bonnici Director of Learning and Development – Digital Learning
Emergency Management Drills
Over the next two weeks the College will conduct emergency
drills on each campus. These drills have
been carefully planned by the Emergency Management Coordinating Team taking
into account College events and classroom activities.
These drills will be conducted at Kinnoull on Wednesday 13 March sometime during the day and at Tiverton on Thursday 21 March sometime during the day and take approximately 20 minutes.
There will some disruption to phone services to the College during the drills. Parents will receive an SMS from the College to indicate the drill has commenced.
Mr Tom Ryan Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations
Mission Action Day 2019
The College is going MAD!!
It’s official! Students, staff, families and friends are going MAD, raising funds to support our Lasallian brothers and sisters in De La Salle missions at home and around the world. The generosity and commitment of our community to Social Justice, one of our key principles, continues to demonstrate that ‘walking the walk’ and being people of action drives our efforts to make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.
Progress so far is encouraging! Staff and students, particularly our leaders from Grade 5 to Year 12, are to be congratulated on their energy and creativity in working together to maximise involvement and keep the total steadily rising. Sausage sizzle and drink packages (instigated by the Year 9 Leaders), class and campus casual days, cup-cakes, lunchtime activities initiated by Year 9 students Michael Steen, Lachlan Rowe and Daniel Van den Berg, House and Class activities and projects are just some of the initiatives currently supplementing the individual sponsorship efforts of all our students.
So, with Mission Action Day only five weeks away, go MAD, fill those sponsor sheets, get involved and keep our momentum and total ticking over!