From the Principal

Welcome back to everyone in the community. I hope all of you have had a relaxing holiday and have returned invigorated for Term Two. Term Two is always a long and busy term, however it does provide for a long period of uninterrupted teaching and learning which is a positive thing when we make the most of the opportunities that come our way. I hope, too, that your Easter celebrations were full of joy. Whilst we are continually reminded of the ills in the world when we are bombarded in the media with images and stories of suffering and death, of malice and evil, Easter reminds us that there is always hope. Christ is risen!

After a prolonged period of beautiful weather, it appears winter has hit all of a sudden. Whilst most of us will miss the lovely Autumn days we enjoy here in Melbourne, the cold and wet weather does provide good conditions for staying indoors and doing the work required to achieve our best results.

It has been a good start to the term, and it hasn’t taken long for the boys to get back into full swing. Everything has started well with students and staff working away diligently to ensure great teaching and learning is taking place. Students have returned refreshed and ready to undertake the work required to achieve success.

The first few weeks of Term Two are jam-packed with a myriad of activities that require extra work from our staff and students. On Friday of last week, the Year 11 students headed off to participate in the Year 11 Retreat. I am sure both the boys enjoyed the day’s activities, and got something out of all the work and preparation the staff put into bringing the day to fruition. I thank the staff involved who organised and participated in the day (especially Mrs Roberts).

I also congratulate the students involved in the many school activities happening at this time (such as ACC sport). I wish them all the best, and I hope we haven’t seen the last of the good weather for their sake. These activities enhance the work we are doing in the classroom, although they do place an extra burden on all involved. The College thanks the staff who continue to give of them themselves to organise these activities for the students in our care.

I would like to mention the ANZAC ceremony held in the College Hall on Monday morning, where all in the community paused for fifteen minutes or so to remember and reflect on the selfless acts of all service men and women who have given so much of themselves throughout history to protect the lifestyle we enjoy today. The vast majority of the boys entered into the ceremony with the reverence required for such an event. A special thank you to Mr Douglas, the College Leaders and musicians for a great tribute to past and present service men and women.

ANZAC day is a big day on the Australian calendar, and stirs up lots of emotion and patriotism as we reflect on the efforts and the values lived out by people in the services.   Sometimes I am bemused by what I see as irrelevant arguments in the media that challenge the place of sport in the ANZAC day celebrations. I for one believe strongly that sport plays a huge part in promoting the values of courage, comradeship and having a go. Not for one second can we ever compare the efforts of our sportsmen playing a game in peace time with the sacrifices and efforts of our war veterans, but rather, sport brings many in our community together and provides a forum that focusses the attention of many thousands, if not millions of people on the issues faced by our war veterans. It encourages many in the community to talk about the values and meaning of this very special day, and I can’t see this as being a bad thing.

I pondered the relevance of ANZAC day to us, and in particular to our student body in our contemporary world. Thankfully we are not faced with having to go to war or to put our lives on the line like our war veterans, and we can only pray we won’t be required to make the same adjustments or sacrifices in the near future. However, this should not stop us from asking ourselves how we can display true courage when faced with adversity. How do we demonstrate true mateship? I pose this question to all in the community to answer for themselves.

In the past week and a half, we have had the task of finalising the list of students we are to offer a place to in Year 7 for the 2018 school year. This process is one that can bring great joy, yet at the same time provide a sense of frustration and sadness. The joy comes from meeting some outstanding young men who wish to study at Salesian College Chadstone, and being able to offer them a place. The frustration and sadness comes from the possibility of not being able to offer all of them a place. I am confident all the boys we will offer a place to will live up to our expectations and be great ambassadors for the College, however I am equally confident that the boys who have missed a place will do the same for their own schools, given the opportunity. We wish all these boys every success and happiness where ever they are in 2018, and pray that they are aware of God’s presence in their lives through their secondary education.

I wish all in the community a great term, and may God bless us all.

Mr Robert Brennan