Principal’s Weekly Report – 8 February 2013


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all students and their families back to Salesian College Chadstone for the 2013 school year. I welcome especially those who are joining us for the first time: the 200 Year 7 students as well as the 20 students joining us in Years eight through twelve. We begin the year with 960 students enrolled at the College with the vast majority of them returning enthusiastically for the year ahead.

This time of the year is usually an extremely exciting and joyous time for a school community. Sadly the beginning of this year has been tinged with a great deal of grief and sorrow. The excitement and joy for teachers and the wider school community at this time of the year comes about due to the anticipation of seeing all of the boys returning to the College after such a long break. This year, unfortunately, we begin the year without one of our fine young men. The College was informed on Monday that one of our Year 11 boys had passed away in his sleep on Sunday night. Richard Tu, a hardworking and much loved young man passed suddenly without warning. His passing has left an enormous hole in the lives of his twin brother Brian, his mum Thi, and dad Phuoc, his extended family and all in the Salesian College Chadstone school community. Richard’s passing is a reminder to us all of just how precious life is and how we cannot take one moment we have with our loved ones for granted. At this time family, friends and the College community have rallied around Richard’s family. At the same time we have looked after staff and students, in particular those close to Richard. It is times like these that we can be thankful for being part of such a wonderful, caring, Christian community.

At a time such as this we can reflect on our Christian beliefs in the risen Christ. It is the belief that through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus that death was conquered for us all and we can look to an eternal life with God. As a community we truly believe that Richard has gone to a better place. Whilst he will be desperately missed by his family and friends and all in the Salesian community and there will be much grieving in this life we must console ourselves that we will meet again. So once again on behalf of the Salesian College Chadstone school community I offer our condolences to the family and ensure them that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time and that we will do all in our power to look after them, in particular Brian. The sadness we have felt as a community is also extended to Mr Rodezno and his family at the passing of his father last weekend and to other staff members who have lost close relatives in the past few weeks. We offer them all our prayers, thoughts and wishes as they mourn the loss of someone very close to them.

In spite of the tough start we still look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for the 2013 school year. This week has provided a number of opportunities to meet with many of the new families at our Year 7 Information Night as well as current families at each of the other information evenings. I hope all of you found the evenings informative and helpful.

Start of a school year

Some educators argue that the first two weeks of a school year are the most important. What happens during this critical period can determine how the rest of the year will go. Students return from summer vacation to new classes, new teachers, new books, and new friends. All of these novelties bring a sense of hope and excitement that this year could be different and better than all previous years. Most students return with a sense of purpose and determination to have a good year. We will endeavour to do everything in our power to harness this energy and get the boys off to a positive start.

The start of the year is also prime time for students and their families to make a new start and renew their relationship with the school and with the people who will be interacting with their sons for the new school year. At this time of the year there is a need to set goals that will enhance our chances for success and then mapping out the small steps they need to take to achieve these goals and ultimately success. Below I have listed some possible small steps that parents can take to support their son in attaining the success he desires.

• Assist your son in establishing a study routine that he will adhere to

• Provide a place at home where your son can study that is comfortable, has good light and ventilation

• Establish / Re-establish relationships with the principal, school staff, and your son’s teacher. We are always happy and keen to meet our parents.

• Let the teacher and school staff know about your son’s personality and any special needs or issues he might have, such as health or social issues.

• Keep the school calendar handy, and make a note to attend scheduled parent-teacher information evenings and other important events.

• Establish clear lines of communication. The college will do its best to keep you informed of all happenings through the newsletter and our website and direct contact with families as required. In turn we ask parents to ensure your contact details, including mobile phone numbers and email addresses, are correct to allow for quick accurate communication.

• Sign up to volunteer at school. The school office has a list of opportunities for parents to become involved.


Academic Outcomes 2012

Once again we were very pleased with the VCE results for 2012 which remained in the positive range of the last ten years. I congratulate the eighteen boys who gained ATAR scores of 90+ and to all the boys who completed their VCE and achieved results befitting their talents. We congratulate Alex Lin as the dux of the College for 2012 with an ATAR score of 99.10. It was another successful year with many of our boys receiving a first round offer of a place in tertiary studies. Congratulations to all our 2012 VCE students for their outstanding results, We wish them every success in the next phase of their lives.


College Calendar

All families should have received a copy the College calendar for 2013. A full copy of the calendar can also be found on the College website. We ask that you note carefully important contact occasions such as parent-teacher nights etc, and the official term breaks for your information. Students are expected to be present on all designated teaching days.


On the staff front we welcome:

Mark Wang Mathematics

Ivana Ryan RE, English, Humanities, Italian

Byron Chen Science, Mathematics, RE

Patrick Wood English, Humanities, RE

Andrew Schillaci English, Humanities, RE

Punita Mistry English, Humanities, RE

Erin Lalor English, Humanities, RE

Thomas Dexter Mathematics, Science

Sharon Pledge EAL

Jayne Cowell Counsellor

Joelle Chaperon Youth Worker

Stuart Anderson AFL Trainee (Sport)

Emily Rainey AFL Trainee (Admin)

Staff Returning from Leave

Martin Kendrick Business, Mathematics

Nadia Knight

Christina Gilcrist

Paul Wise

We also congratulate the following current staff who have been appointed to new leadership positions.

Robert Mercer Director of School Organisation

Leanne Matheson Director of Teaching

Steven Loonstra Year 9 Coordinator

Nick Kearney Assistant Year 9 Coordinator

Rhea Beurs Head of House – Savio

Alicia Richardson Head of Science

Kara Baxter Head of Humanities


I wish all in the community a wonderful year

God Bless