From the College Captain

Five years ago, I was introduced to a school in the Donvale bush that invited my newly found classmates and I to take on a new adventure. Through the cloud of nervousness, the strong anticipation, and our oversized blazers, we walked together for the first time as we took on the daunting task of tackling high school. Along this journey, I truly believe that we have become a family, a brotherhood, built to withstand the challenges that face us so that we can draw success and encourage achievement from one another. Five years on, and my Year 12 brothers and I still walk side by side, ready to take our final steps through Whitefriars College.

This sense of family is encapsulated in our school motto, Almae in Fide Parentis (In the care of a loving mother). This statement guides Whitefriars students to be transformed into what we call gentle men. To be gentle men is to treat others with compassion and generosity while also displaying fortitude and humility. These values, encompassed by the motto on our crest, help the students feel that they belong as part of our community and our family.

Through every moment of my time at Whitefriars, I have always felt that I have had the chance to do something new. Whitefriars prides itself on its ability to grant opportunities to every student who aspires to dream. Three beautifully simplistic words project what it means to be at Whitefriars; Belong, Believe, Become. Though concise, these words perfectly describe how the Whitefriars students, staff, and the wider community work in unison to draw the very best from every person. How our forward-moving communal interplay encourages dreams and fantasies to be transformed into reality. A place where young men not only strive to create positive change but are encouraged to lead with passion amongst their peers so they can do it together.

As a Catholic, Carmelite school, we learn and grow through the lens of our Carmelite values: Community, Contemplation and Service. These young men are built on the same values as the Carmelite brothers who 63 years ago decided to build and open a school in the middle of the Donvale bush. A group of people who are creative and caring enough to take risks to benefit others. This is what Whitefriars is built on. We are taught to take our time while learning and to lead unselfishly, as servants and stewards of each other.

Every part of these aspects that surround our community has an undeniable positive impact on how young men at Whitefriars develop. We as students can thrive and are given the resources to become well-rounded, caring, and authentic gentle men. We are trusted to hold responsibility as everybody is encouraged to be a leader in the community. By nurturing teamwork, we are reminded that we are not alone on this challenging yet rewarding journey.

This year, I am fortunate enough to lead this incredible school alongside my two Vice Captains – Jack Apostolopoulos and Max Paten. With the help of our many school leaders, we look to give back to the caring community that shaped us into gentle men. Together, we channel our energy into reinforcing the great values that make us Whitefriars boys. As College Captain, I wish to lead the next generation of Whitefriars boys into a future where they are encouraged to pursue their aspirations.

I welcome you to 2024, and if you are not part of our community yet, I invite you to join.


Tom Petrowski

2024 College Captain