From the Principal

Welcome to Week Four of Term 3, a period of time in which we have settled into the term and all in the community are working diligently to complete whatever tasks they have in front of them. Our senior students will be well into their outcomes, counting them down as they go, keeping their motivation levels high as they begin the journey into the end of the year and the end of their secondary schooling. Staff will be busily planning, delivering and correcting student work ensuring we continue to provide a high level of education for the students in our care.

As the day to day education continues on around us, a number of our students find time to commit to other activities and quite often excel in these extracurricular activities. One such student is Christian Theoharous. We received wonderful news coming out of the weekend for the College Community and for the Theoharous family. On Sunday, July 31, Melbourne Victory played against Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup.

Melbourne Victory fielded most of their starting eleven in the first half, and in the second half, at the 60th minute mark Christian was subbed into the game to live out a boyhood dream. Christian played exceptionally well more than holding his own against the best in the world. On behalf of the College we would like to congratulate Christian on this fantastic achievement and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Another group of Year 11 boys from the College participated in Deakin University’s ‘Next Gen Business Challenge.’ The boys were set a problem at the beginning of the week and presented their findings on Friday. The boys did an exceptional job and I’m sure they have gained much from the experience.

On Tuesday, July 19 twelve boys participated in the Mary McKertich Public Speaking final. It was inspiring to watch these boys deliver speeches that were not only well executed but also were topical, maturely presented and challenging to the audience. All boys were exceptional, however, a special mention must go to the senior boys. I felt that their collection of speeches was the best I had witnessed over many years of attending such events. Well done to all. A special thanks to Mr Andrew Schillaci for organising such a professional event and also to all the parents and students who attended in support of the sons and friends.

I would like to thank all the parents who contributed to the ‘Thank You Teachers and Staff Morning Tea’ arranged by the Parents’ Association and school community. It was overwhelming and the generous donations of wonderful plates very well received by the staff in the community. Whist it is a privilege to do what we do on a daily basis it is always nice to know that our efforts are appreciated and the occasion was a wonderful reminder of the wonderful staff we have here at the College.

The College Musical will be performed this week and I would like to encourage all in the community to come along and support all the boys and staff who have put in an amazing amount of effort to bring ‘Seussical’ to life.

A flyer has been provided to all families regarding a Traditional Samoan Music and Dance Concert to be held at the College on Tuesday 30 August and Saturday 3 September. I ask everyone who is able to get along and support our colleagues from Samoa to attend. It will be an amazing evening of entertainment as well as raising much needed funds for the students in Samoa.

Often I hear the comment I have no time, or there are not enough hours in the day. Sometimes I believe we are putting too much pressure on ourselves, we are expecting too much to happen too quickly. This week’s reflection takes this up as an issue.

It has become a cliché for us to say we live in a push-button, instant gratification world. We have taken to wanting things immediately, fast food, microwave ovens, computers that give us instant answers, buy now, pay later are all examples of our dwindling patience. This doesn’t simply mean we have become more impatient than past generations; I think we are witnessing an entirely different way of thinking. It could be argued that this is a natural progression in life, however, it has taken us away from a life which everyone knew back in the days when we were an agrarian society. In this society we planted, then cultivated, and finally we harvested. Plant, cultivate, harvest. A slow cycle, repeated over months and years. In today’s world, everyone wants to go directly from plant to harvest. We plant the seed by joining the gym, and then get frustrated when a few days go by and there’s no fitness harvest. People take steroids to enhance athletic performance in the shortest possible time, we play the lottery in the hope of becoming instantly wealthy, or worse still, rob a bank to access financial gain. We participate in miracle diets hoping to lose weight instantly. In a school setting, it is the one-night cramming before a test, hoping to gain the knowledge we need instantly. The sad fact is that we are not learning that there is no short cut, these things take time. The step we keep overlooking is the step of cultivating. And that, unlike planting and harvesting, takes place only through the patient dimension of time. Partly because we are a culture raised on computers, television and movies, we’ve lost track of time. With a computer I can access information instantaneously that may have taken hours of research in the past, through a great film, you can experience the triumph of the human soul over adversity, the drama of a struggle between doing what’s right and succumbing to the temptations of the world, the flowering of a great romance…But it all has to be finished in two hours. Can you imagine meeting the person who will become the love of your life – the dating, courtship, romance, wedding and life thereafter – in two hours? Of course not. But in a world filled with instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant credit, instant shopping, instant news and instant information, we have come dangerously close to losing touch with reality and believing we have access to instant life.
Past generations learned about life through books. Books take time to read. A child who a generation ago might have spent a month reading Charles Dickens’s novel Great Expectations can now watch the film version and gobble it up in one hour and fifty-one minutes. In a film, we never see the little steps, repeated hundreds of times, which create the results. When we watch Cathy Freeman win gold in Sydney we haven’t witnessed the years of work, pain, triumphs and setbacks that came before. There isn’t time. In real life, everything important happens through time. Everything worth doing takes time. Human relationships build over time. Skills are learned over time. Sporting achievements come with time. Time is the key to every piece of human knowledge and development.

So I say to all in the community, especially our students – life is a journey through time, so try to curb your impatience and give yourself the time you need to learn and grow. You have all the time in the world. Make the most of every minute. So give yourself the gift of time.

With this in mind, many of our students have been involved in subject selections for next year which will impact on them in years to come. This process is an extremely important one and we encourage all students and their families to take the time and actively enter into the process and gather all information needed. This will ensure their choices provide a successful and relevant program that will meet all their needs.

The College sees education as the key to liberating people, giving them choices in the path they will ultimately choose. With this in mind, the College provides a broad, holistic curriculum that aims to engage and challenge our students, demand excellence of them whilst developing their minds, body and spirit.   It is hoped that the wide educational perspectives provided at Salesian College will encourage students to discover and pursue individual interests and pathways that will equip them with essential thinking and communication skills required of them post schooling, enabling them to become productive members of an ever changing community.

An integral aspect of one’s education is making prudent subject choices that suit your needs and your God given talents. To ensure your senior years at Salesian College are enjoyable and productive, we hope you have undertaken a comprehensive process before making your subject selections. The choices you make will have implications for the pathways you will follow post-secondary education and Salesian College. Your subject choices should reflect possible pathways you may choose to follow. They should consider pre-requisite subjects for any courses you may wish to undertake. Your choices should ensure a breadth of subjects that will maximise the pathways open to you and most importantly they should reflect the subjects you enjoy and the ones that you are good at. I strongly advise you not to discount any course, subject or pathway until you have researched it thoroughly to see if it suits your needs.

Subject selection is an individual journey that only you can take. The end result of your journey will be the development of some long-term goals and the identification of the steps that you need to take to achieve them. I encourage you to continue to seek information, guidance and support from all avenues available to you. Collect as much information as you can. Use your Job Guide, talk to people – be inquisitive. If you know someone who has an interesting job, ask them what they did to get there. It is very important that you make your decision based on what is best for you. Do not make a decision based on what your friends intend to do. Just as each one of you has different physical characteristics, so too do you have different pathways to pursue.

Many of you will gain your subjects of choice because you have done the work required and given yourself every opportunity. However, others will have to undergo the appeals process in order to gain access to a subject of choice. If you find yourself in this situation allow the process to happen and in the meantime do everything in you power to rectify the issues that put you in this situation in the first place. Good luck to you all.

Have a great week and God Bless.

Mr Rob Brennan