The Duce Issue 2019 09 - 20 June 2019

Respectful Relationships

To be honest, as I sit to write about this topic, it’s hard to find reasons why this issue needs to be discussed. At first reading, it seems self-evident. Why would anyone want to be in a relationship that was NOT respectful? I suppose the issue is, possibly, that we have become so used to relationships that are subtly disrespectful, that they seem the norm. 

Life is busy, tempers become frayed, our own unconscious biases leak into our conversations or our mannerisms and fester like a splinter under the skin. In my work prior to starting at De La Salle, I saw a lot of couples and families that spoke to each other in ways that would never be acceptable in the workplace or at a school committee meeting. I am guilty of it myself on occasion when it’s been a long day and you get home only to have to start working again on domestic chores. It has always been my belief that the families and couples that can fight well stay together. Every couple, every family, every sibling will argue at some point in their relationship, we’re only human. 

People who can argue about what they are actually discussing, not bring in the past (“remember when you…”), not predict the future (“I know you’ll…”), make generalities (“you always…”) will do better. Try to make a win/win, not a win/lose situation. 

The tools we fall back on to win an argument are corrosive and often destructive. They whittle away at our respect for each other until we somehow gain permission to speak badly to those we love the most. As adults, we model behaviour between individuals that is incorporated into our children’s world view, we show body language that is judgmental or dismissive that, when our children do the same to us, we are incensed. 

This disrespect is often by omission rather than commission. It’s often about what we don’t do as well as what we actually do. The turning of our back, the roll of the eyes, the listening to rebut rather than listening to understand, the things we attend to as opposed to the concern out partner would like us to attend to, the checking the phone while the other person is talking.

In my last article, I wrote about “The Other” and how difficult it is to harm someone we have empathy for. It’s this concept that underpins the idea of Respectful Relationships. Listening to understand is THE most important, yet underutilized skill we have. This trying to understand also applies to those that have different ethnicities, sexualities, genders and beliefs to us. To listen with respect, to disagree without anger, to accept that someone else has a view different from your own are wonderful things. 

In a funny quirk of human psychology, studies have shown that the more we attempt to force our truth on another, the more firmly they hold on to their belief. So, arguing doesn’t actually work! Listening to another’s point of view will actually be more effective in having them see yours! While the term “Respectful Relationships” has its origin in gender equality, it is a concept that covers all of the relationships between human beings. 

A relationship is respectful when those in it are:

  • respecting each other’s feelings, opinions, and friendships
  • having fun together
  • feeling comfortable and at ease with one another
  • free to be themselves
  • able to disagree without feeling intimidated
  • able to spend time away from the relationship without negative consequences
  • able to say no when you don’t want to do things, including intimacy.

These qualities of a relationship are included in the Respectful Relationship Curriculum and sit very comfortably in our Lasallian and Catholic values.

Last week, in a follow-up session about gender-based violence and in the days leading up to the College Formal, I showed the Year 12 students a video about consent made by Blue Seat Studios. It makes an analogy between making someone a cup of tea and obtaining consent for intimacy. It was remarkable how many times I heard, jokingly, our young men ask each other if they would like a “cup of tea” in the days following this. This indicates to me, that while consent isn’t a new concept, the discussion of it possibly was. I have included the link for you to look at here.

As a parent, I sometimes hope that someone else will have the difficult discussion with my lads, sometimes I even expect that their school will do it. Then I think to myself, wait, isn’t this my job? And yes, yes it is, but how much better would it be if my sons were getting the same message from every significant person in their life? This may include coaches, friends, teachers, friend’s parents. Then, my sons will be in a position to do the same to people who see them as significant. 

I know I want my sons to be respected and to be respectful. I want them to have boundaries that are clear and to be aware of other’s boundaries. I don’t want them to see those people that are different from them as “The Other”, but rather as a different version of themselves. I want them to have robust discussions without resorting to belittling others or violence. I want to model, to the best of my ability, relationships that are respectful of others. I don’t always get it right, but, when I can, I respectfully apologise to them for getting it wrong. This too is a mark of respect.

Mr Anthony Freeman
College Psychologist, Kinnoull Campus

Faith and Mission

De La Salle and his first teachers recognised the importance of developing positive relationships with their students, calling themselves “older brother” to the young people in their care and “brother” to one another. 

Lasallian Foundation

Term 2 has seen an inspiring commitment by students at the College to ensure the Winter Clothes Drive was fully supported. We hope that each student at De La Salle College would donate at least one new or nearly-new item of warm clothing that could be provided to someone in need this winter. 

As Lasallians, St John Baptist de La Salle reminds us that “God calls us to do his work” and the Winter Clothes Drive is an opportunity for us to do just that. My thanks to the Year 11 VCAL class and the Year 11 Social Justice Group for overseeing the project. 

This term at De La Salle the community will all be supporting National Refugee Week. St Austin’s House is proudly supporting the Melbourne Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office who provide pastoral care of migrants and refugees in Melbourne. In advocating for this charity the De La Salle College community has managed to raise over $6,000 since 2016. These donations have gone to support many who have sought refuge in Australia, particularly here in Melbourne.

We are reminded of the words of Pope Francis on the treatment of refugees and the need for compassion: 

We must 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’.

Pope Francis, Address to U.S. Congress, 25 September, 2015 

Throughout the week St Austin’s House will be holding a number of activities to promote awareness of Refugees and Migrants and on Friday 21 June students are invited to make a gold coin donation and wear casual clothes to school. The Student Leaders of St Austin’s House will host a BBQ at lunchtime to help raise funds for the Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office. 

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission 

Year 7 Band Night

Semester One 2019 Year 7 Bands Program Music Concert

The 2019 Year 7 Concert held on 12 June proved to be a highly entertaining evening, as students from Benilde, Hegarty, Roland and Vincent performed in front of a capacity PAC crowd and competed for bragging rights, the Year 7 Band Competition Perpetual Shield and a delicious pizza lunch! 

All classes performed admirably, but ultimately it was Hegarty (conducted by Mr Coyle) who were victorious, performing with great verve and intensity, aided by a particularly energetic trombone section. 

Other notable performances were also given by the Junior Concert Band (conducted by Ms Claire Block) and a Year 10 band who go by the name Cormac and the Bruh Moments. Harry McInneny, Cormac Fleming and Will Dwyer also spoke eloquently on the many benefits of being involved in the activities of the Music Department at De La Salle College.

The highest achieving students on each Year 7 class band instrument were awarded certificates, and these students were:

  • Flute — Jim Tobin, 7 Benilde
  • Clarinet — Nicholas Petrone, 7 Vincent
  • Saxophone — Joseph Valcanas, 7 Roland
  • Trumpet — Gabriel Moses, 7 Hegarty and Matthew Hughes, 7 Benilde
  • Trombone — Spencer Tull, 7 Benilde
  • Bass Guitar — Ivan Leon, 7 Roland
  • Percussion — Jordan Genovese, 7 Hegarty

Many thanks to our talented and energetic Year 7 Band program teaching team, Ms Claire Block (flute), Mr Rick Freeman (clarinet), Ms Penny Karahalios (saxophone), Mr Paul Coyle (trumpet and trombone) and Mr Jaymee Lee (bass and percussion) for delivering this excellent program of music education.

Mr Luke Serrano
Music Coordinator


Building Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships

De La Salle College is committed to the education of the whole person – academic, spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological. This commitment is clear through the Personal Development program, which harnesses the ‘Building Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program’. 

For a period a week, all students embark on this powerful program, which is designed to build students’ social, emotional and positive relationship skills. We know that efforts to promote social and emotional skills in young people have been shown to improve health-related outcomes and subjective wellbeing. It also reduces antisocial behaviours, including engagement in violence.

The learning materials cover topics such as; 

  • Emotional Literacy
  • Personal Strengths
  • Positive Coping
  • Problem Solving
  • Stress Management and 
  • Help-Seeking.

Please have a conversation with the De La Salle student in your life – ask him about Personal Development and what he has been doing. It is vitally important!

Year 12 Formal

On Thursday 13 June, Year 12 students came together to celebrate their formal. Together with their partners, our students danced and enjoyed each other’s company well into the night. It was wonderful to see the De La Salle students looking so dapper, and their wonderful behaviour on the night is a testament to their development into impressive young men. 

Click here to view the Year 12 Formal Photo Gallery.

Lasallian Leadership Retreat 

On Tuesday 18 June, our Tiverton Campus leaders were privileged to be involved in a Lasallian Leadership Retreat. 

During the day, the students took part in a number of activities that had them reflect on who they are, how they want to lead and how they form relationships with those around them. 

The students left the day with a new realisation that positive interactions and affirmations can help to shape the world around them – their relationships have the power to change things!

Ms Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students

Parent Network News

Christmas In July Dinner

The Parent Network’s “Christmas in July” Dinner on Saturday 27 July is selling fast, so get your table together! Click here to book tickets.


Parents’ “Christmas in July” DinnerSaturday 27 JulyMerrimu
Father’s Day BreakfastThursday 22 AugustGym

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

Mrs Meagan Selkirk
President, De La Salle College Parent Network

Important Notices

Mission Action Day Awards

The annual Mission Action Day Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Performing and Visual Arts Assembly on Friday 28 June. MAD awards acknowledge the extraordinary effort of individual students in raising sponsorship money.

The highest individual fundraiser will be presented with the Ian Oliver Mission Action Award. Ian Oliver, who retired from the College in 2015, was a driving force behind the success of Mission Action Day over many years and will return as a guest of the College to present the awards. The final MAD total for 2019 will also be announced.

The College thanks all students for their efforts with MAD this year.  The money raised will support the many development projects in a number of Lasallian communities in remote Australia and South East Asia.

School Improvement Surveys 2019

During Term 3 the College will seek support from students, staff and parents as part of the annual school improvement process. Students, staff and parents will be invited to participate in the Catholic Education Melbourne School Improvement Surveys (CEMSIS). The feedback and data collected will enable De La Salle to better understand how the school is performing and assist us in planning for the future.

Early next term parents will receive a letter from the College outlining the full details of the CEMSIS process.

Performing and Visual Arts Assembly

The annual Performing and Visual Arts Assembly will be held on Friday 28 June during Period 4 in the College gymnasium. This year the event will feature drama, various music ensembles and outstanding work from the visual arts. 

End of Term 2

Term 2 concludes for students at 1:10 pm on Friday 28 June. Teaching staff will be involved in Professional Practice activities during the afternoon on this day. The College staff wish all students and families a safe and happy holiday break.

Term 3 Commencement

Term 3 commences on Wednesday 17 July. Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July are student free days. College staff will be undertaking professional learning on these days. The College Office will be open 8:00am to 4:00pm as normal.

Staff Changes for Term 3

The College welcomes back Mr Shardul Kaneria, Mr Dave Ellul, Mr Peter Crellin and Mrs Anette Phillips from periods of leave.

We also welcome to the College Ms Kate Fitzgerald who will be teaching Science and Maths and Ms Patrizia Ferrara, who will be teaching Drama.

Mr Andrew Kearns will take charge of Year 6 fulltime, while Mr Terry Atkins is on Long Service Leave during Terms 3 and 4.

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations

Lasallian Volunteering in 2020

Are you looking for the opportunity of a lifetime? Do you want to make an impact and help support those in need? Volunteering in a Lasallian program will offer a world of opportunities for knowledge and personal growth — whether you’re a High School graduate, University student, Principal, Teacher, or anyone else who wants to get involved!

For more information, click here.

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates on the College calendar.

Meta High School eSports League, online, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Year 9 Student Expo Showcase - Holy Eucharist Campus, 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Year 9 Lightning Premiership - Basil Street Reserve, 10:35am - 3:00pm
Year 7, 2021 Information Night - Prospective Families - Gymnasium and Rheims Centre, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Year 9 Reflection Day - Groups 1 - 5 - Holy Eucharist Campus
Year 7 Lightning Premiership - Basil Street Reserve, 10:35am - 3:00pm
Year 9 Reflection Day - Groups 6 - 10 - Holy Eucharist Campus
Year 12 Seminar Day - SMT, 9:00am - 3:15pm
Meta High School eSports League, online, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Co-Curricular (Arts) Assembly - Gymnasium, 12:00pm - 12:40pm
Students dismissed - 1:00pm
New Zealand Snowsports and Adventure Tour - 29 June to 4 July - Queenstown, New Zealand
Students Resume Classes for Term Three
Year 8 Lightning Premiership - Basil Street Reserve, 10:35am - 3:00pm
College Tour - SMT, 2:00pm - 3:45pm
Time and Space: Year 8 Father and Son Night - Gymnasium, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Kinnoull Academic Awards Assembly - Kinnoull Campus
Holy Eucharist Academic Awards Assembly - Holy Eucharist Campus
Tiverton Academic Awards Assembly - Tiverton Campus
1 Year College Reunion - Racecourse Hotel, East Malvern, 7:00pm start
Christmas in July Dinner - Merrimu, 1300 Dandenong Rd, Murrumbeena, 7:00pm - 12:00pm
Community Mass - St Joseph's Church, 47 Stanhope St, Malvern, 10:00am
Music Tour - 29 July to 1 August