From the Principal

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all students and families in the Salesian College Chadstone community for the 2017 school year. In particular, a very special welcome to all our new students and their families as they begin their Salesian education; 203 Year 7 students, and 23 across our other year levels. I hope all students have had a good break and are ready to take up the challenges the new school year presents.

We have made a good start to the year, with the boys settling back in to the routine of the school day. We start the year with 1030 boys on our books, with most returning in good spirits and appearing to be looking forward to a very exciting year. We can look forward to a settled year, with no new developments in the pipeline (apart from the new kitchens, which were completed over the break). This should mean that both staff and students can look forward to uninterrupted teaching and learning for the year.

As we begin the year, I would like to reflect briefly on the VCE results of 2016. Whilst we will recognise the Class of 2016 (in particular the boys who have had success) at our Dux Assembly in a couple of weeks, it would be remiss not to mention what has been another successful academic year. The Class of 2016 had great success with 18.4% of the boys achieving an ATAR score of above 90. The Dux for the year was Deeshan Ambawatta, with an outstanding score of 99.0. The Class of 2016 also had just under 10% of their study scores greater than 40, well above the state average. Further to this, is the success our boys achieved in being offered university places, with close to 100% receiving an offer in the first round. The College would like to congratulate all boys on their results, and we wish them well as they move on to the next stage in their lives. We also extend our congratulations to all schools, in particular all Catholic schools, for their achievements and their great work with their students.

Last Tuesday, the College celebrated the Opening School Mass at which we welcomed in the new school year. Included in our celebrations was the welcoming ceremony for new staff and students, with the presentation to all Year 7 students of a College and House badge. All new staff received a framed copy of the Salesian Charter, having previously received their College and House badges at our Staff Mass. We also inducted the 2017 College Leaders. It was a wonderful gathering full of pomp and ceremony. We will gather on a number of occasions over the next few weeks as we launch the school year and celebrate the achievements of 2016.

This Wednesday we hope to meet with all our parents for our Information Night, where the focus will be on Learning Conferences, a new initiative this year. We are hoping as many parents as possible will be able to join us, to ensure we keep families well informed on this very exciting educational initiative. In two weeks’ time we will once again gather for the 2017 Dux Assembly, where we will recognise the outstanding achievements of the students of the Class of 2016, and the fine achievements of boys from all other year levels last year. We extend an invitation to all in our community to join us for these celebrations.

On Thursday and Friday of last week a group of teachers took the Year 12 cohort up to Camp Rutherford for their retreat. The boys entered into the program with maturity and enthusiasm, providing an environment for a very positive gathering. The boys certainly appeared to enjoy themselves and got a lot out of the program. I congratulate all boys for their participation in the retreat and thank all staff in attendance for giving of their time for the boys.

The College would like to welcome the following staff, who either join us for the first time or are returning after a long break from the College.

  • Craig Abernethy                   Technology Studies
  • Paul Azar                               Applied Learning
  • Melissa Fernando                English, Oratory, Humanities
  • Fatima Nazar                        Information Technology
  • Freda Pahomis                     Head of Learning Support
  • Kate Sabel                             Head of Applied Learning
  • Christopher Walsh             Oratory, R.E., Mathematics
  • Eliza Weinberg                    Oratory, Mathematics


Never underestimate your potential

Potential is a word that is bandied around in our society with free abandon, mainly in the sporting field, often fraught with risk. Whilst it usually is meant to have a positive connotation, I believe it to be a word that can spell trouble if we ever allow ourselves to sit back on our laurels because of the potential we have. There have been many a sporting star touted to have potential, only to fail to live up to that potential throughout their careers. We all have talents and potential, but this is not enough, for without hard work and persistence, this potential remains an untapped source, causing much frustration. Every school year commences with the potential to be the best ever, however, both individually and collectively its potential will only be realised through dedication and hard work; two things that are easier said than done.

Realise that potential is something that requires courage, as we have to allow ourselves to dream big and then overcome our fears of failure to enjoy ultimate success. Some people adopt the attitude that they are unable to do the things they dream, whilst others take what they have and use their potential to achieve great things.

Jesus tells the parable of the three servants who are each given talents. Two of the slaves use their talents to gain further talents, however, sadly the slave that was given the least talents stores his under a bushel to protect it, for fear of losing it. Ultimately, this upsets his master who believes him to have wasted his talent. The moral of the parable is that the talents we are given are to be used and developed, no matter how many we are given, or the strength of those talents.

To take this thought one step further and apply it to things we have to do in life, is to live by the motto, ‘if I have to do it, I may as well do it well’. Along this line, we all have to show up at school or work, so as long as you have to be here, why not give it your all? Why not give it the best you can?

Don’t overlook the opportunity to achieve something, don’t be fearful, don’t hold back. Give it all you’ve got, because this moment may never come again, and who knows what you could achieve? Give yourself the chance to reach your own potential. Alice Crowe suggests that “10% is what life brings to you. 90% is what you do about it.” With this in mind, I will use the famous slogan of Nike, ‘Just Do It’. Let’s not waste the potential that the 2017 school year presents, and work together to have the best year yet.

The start of the year is prime time for students and their families to make a new start, and renew their commitment to do everything in their power to reach their potential in all pursuits. At this time of year, there is a need to set goals that will enhance student’s chance 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 they desire.

  • 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
  • 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 are correct (including both mobile phone numbers and email addresses). This allows for quick, accurate communication.


Good luck, and enjoy the year.

Mr Rob Brennan