From the Principal

Welcome to Week Six as we enter into the second half of Term Three. This week we look forward to Parent Teacher interviews as it is always good to catch up with parents and share in the positive outcomes the vast majority of our boys have achieved over the term and set in place goals and plans moving forward.

Whilst it is an important time of year to reflect on what we have been able to achieve to this point, I encourage the boys to keep an eye on what is to come and not get bogged down on what has happened in the past. Some students can get a false sense of accomplishment, given what they have achieved thus far in their mid-year exams or in outcomes over the year but we remind them that in most cases there is still a lot of work still to be done before we can close the year off. This is particularly true of our Year 12 students who have 50% of their grades up for grabs in most if not all of their subjects in the form of their exams. On the other hand I also worry about those students wanting to give up because they haven’t achieved what they had hoped for in their internal outcomes, but once again we say there are still 50% of their grades up for grabs in most if not all of their subjects. To the students who are feeling a sense of failure it is not too late. There is still plenty of time to redeem things if you are willing to work hard between now and the end of the year.

The events of the past week have provided much pride and joy for the Salesian College community with one of the highlights of the year the College production of Seussical. Our partnership with Sacred Heart to put on a polished production is a credit to the commitment of staff from both colleges. The chance to work with the girls from Sacred Heart provides an opportunity for our boys to shine on stage, displaying their God given talents.

We were very fortunate to have had large numbers attend the three shows with the two evening shows nearly selling out. It is pleasing for the students that all their hard work and preparation is recognised with the numbers attending. As I said to staff at briefing last week it would be very hard for me to thank each individual who has contributed to this production as we would be talking about a large number of staff and parents involved in some way and I am very likely to miss somebody. However, it is important for me to acknowledge and thank them all. So the best way to do this is to thank the teams of helpers for their contributions. Teams included: Production team, Music team, set design and construction, ticketing, logistics, stage team, lighting, sound, make up and costumes and any other assistance offered in preparation for such a great show.

As teachers we gain the most satisfaction from witnessing our students achieve and the sense of joy they get from their success. Successes can take many forms, a good grade on an essay, a good result on a test, winning an event at the swimming carnival; sometimes it can be as simple as finally understanding Pythagoras. On Friday night I shared such a moment with hundreds of members of the audience at the production of Seussical. I sat and watched with my family a great number of students display their talents and craft on stage doing themselves and the College proud. Whilst their talents were worthy of celebrating, my moment of joy did not only come as a result of these God given talents, it came at the end of the show as the students received a justified ovation for their performance. I watched the students reaction very carefully and it was the sparkle in their eyes that for made all the hard work and effort worth it. To witness such joy does not come around all that often and it is these moments that I am reminded why teaching in a Catholic school is so rewarding.

Last week the Year 8 boys were able to enjoy a three day break on their camp – in spite of inclement weather. Reports filtering back suggest that the boys were quite remarkable given that a number of the planned activities had to be cancelled due to the weather. This a real credit to them. Thanks to the Mr Steven Beckham and the team for giving up their own time to ensure the boys enjoyed their camp.

The Year 10 boys have begun their dance lessons with the girls from Sacred Heart, an opportunity to interact with the girls on a social level which I’m sure they will enjoy. Thanks to all the staff involved in the supervision of the lessons and the social to come in a couple of weeks.

I quite often speak of the Salesian College boys in glowing terms to anyone who is willing to listen. The boys regularly go beyond what we would expect of students, doing themselves, their parents and the College proud. With this in mind I would like to congratulate the following high achieving Humanities students who represented Salesian College at the NextGen Deakin University Challenge. Dillon Caminos, Jack Robertson, Zac Gilbert, Ayden Khalil, Dean Dritas, Adam Kakkos, George Ekonomopoulos and Cristian Martinelli who excelled in what was quite a daunting challenge.

The week long program required the students to work in teams to develop a business. The business had to address a social issue or solve a problem in the wider community. The criteria they were assessed on included producing a business plan including a two year financial forecast, deliver a sales pitch, create a marketing strategy, all the while undertaking a series of smaller challenges along the way. Our boys conducted themselves admirably, displaying sound business knowledge and skill, as well as an ability to manage stress and pressure whilst navigating independent learning and team based goals. Their budgeting, planning, creative thinking and public speaking skills came to the fore. Our boys were presented with the People’s Choice Award, highlighting their solid and well considered campaign.

Many thanks to Mr. Giles, Mr. Bermingham, Mr. McAuliffe and Ms. Ellul for their hard work in making this experience possible.

I have included an excerpt from an email I received from Kerrie Bridson, Associate Professor Marketing at Deakin university after the event. ‘I was so impressed by how the boys spoke about the school environment, the sense of community and their respect for their teachers and each other. They worked as a fantastic team all week. While many schools participated over the week, your boys’ team made the strongest impression on me personally and professionally. Having just made my decision on a girls’ school for my eldest daughter, I am up to choosing a school for both my son and nephew. Your school advocates on the Challenge last week made that decision for me very easy.’

Student Reflections indicated the boys enjoyed the challenge and have gained much from their experience. The boys spoke of the honour of being selected for the Deakin Illuminate Project and how participating in it was an experience they will never forget. An experience they would recommend to future groups.

I have always been a believer that you get out of life what you put into it, with schooling being no different. I think this group of boys will reflect on their time here at Salesian College with even more fondness given their experiences over the past couple of weeks. With this in mind I encourage all boys in our community to involve yourself in as many things as you can as ultimately it will make your time at Salesian College richer and more enjoyable.

Mr Rob Brennan