Principal’s Message – Newsletter 6 August

In the absence of Robert Brennan, this week we will hear from Deputy Principal – Learning and Curriculum, Neil Carter.

Commencing last Friday and spanning the weekend, the College’s Leadership Team was involved in the biennial Salesian Educational Leader’s Conference at the new Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne. The Conference brought together over 70 delegates from Salesian schools in Victoria (Salesian College, Sunbury; Nagle College, Bairnsdale; St. Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully); South Australia (Xavier College, Gawler; St. Mark’s College, Port Pirie); Samoa (Don Bosco Technical Centre; Don Bosco High School and Vocational Centre); New South Wales (St John Bosco College; Dunlea Centre) and Tasmania (Dominic College).

The conference was built around four key note addresses. Fr Chris Ford, (formerly Principal of Salesian College Chadstone, now Principal at Don Bosco Technical Centre in Samoa), began proceedings with a stimulating presentation focusing on how, as Salesian educators, we might work to reanimate Don Bosco’s Preventive System. Associate Professor Dennis McLaughlin then gave a robust analysis of contemporary Catholic education. On Saturday, the well-known clinical psychologist, Andrew Fuller, helped the gathering contextualise 21st Century children within our Salesian educative system, whilst Fr Bernie Graham then presented some thoughts and perspectives on Don Bosco’s pedagogy. These presentations were interspersed with a number of workshops, prayerful interludes and meals. The conference concluded on Sunday morning with Mass celebrated by Fr Greg Chambers, the Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Australia and the Pacific. The conference was a very fruitful three days. In addition to the ideas and the beginnings of plans that were spawned by the conference, the occasion provided us with a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues in Salesian schools from around Australia and in Samoa.

I was able to excuse myself from the Conference on Saturday evening to attend the production of Animal Farm at the Clayton Community Centre. It was a great night. There was some outstanding acting with Luis Mascaro, Eddie Russell, Josh Cayetano and Tom Perrett , amongst others, delivering memorable performances. The cast was enlivened by the presence of five girls from Killester College whilst Mr Beurs and our VCAL students constructed a marvellous set. Miss O’Sullivan oversaw the creation of some striking masks and the stage crew, led by Miss Lalor, worked tirelessly to make the production really zing. Many additional students and members of staff made very considerable contributions to the success of the production and are to be congratulated for their generous gifts of time, talent and effort. Finally, it is appropriate that the enormous role played by our Head of Performance, Mr Adam Croft, in designing, producing and directing ‘Animal Farm’ is acknowledged for what it is: a simply magnificent effort. Well done, Mr Croft!

Neil Carter
Deputy Principal – Learning and Curriculum