Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

From the Principal – Advent

November 26th, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

I always feel at this time of the year that there is a sense of urgency among us. It’s like we are all rushing to meet a deadline and that deadline is Christmas day! How many times do we hear people say, I have so much to do before Christmas. Some of us even count down the days, often though, not with a sense of excitement but with fear and dread for all the things we need to do between now and then. There are so many boxes to tick between now and when the Christmas roast comes out of the oven – and the list just seems to get longer!

How nice would be if we could just buy a bit of time to stop and be reflective at this time of the year. What a gift it would be just have a couple more days to give us some breathing space. Unfortunately, I think we would probably just find more things to do to fill in the time.

Our Church presents us with a very different approach as to how we should attend to these last few weeks of the year. As you read this article, we are about to enter the season of Advent in the Christian Church. To me it is like a pre-Christmas gift. A gift that gives us permission to breath, to take time to reflect on our year, to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives and most importantly to prepare for the coming of Jesus, the true gift of Christmas.

Now you might say, that is all well and good, but I still have all these things to get done, to tick off my list, I haven’t got time to reflect, to breath and perhaps even to pray.

Our good friend Pope Francis speaks about advent as time when we should be focussing on the search for peace as we prepare for the coming of Jesus, at Christmas. This Advent season, he says is time to be humble and try to build peace in our souls, in our families and in the world.

It’s really not that hard to find a few minutes in the day to breath, to count our blessings, to say a short prayer for peace, to light a candle in remembrance of a loved one, to make time to listen to the needs of another, to lift someone’s spirits with a kind word or simple gesture. By doing these things we answer Francis’ call to bring a little peace to our world, our family and our own soul.

There is another Francis after whom our Pope is named – St. Francis of Assisi. This other Francis lived around 900 years ago and was famous for his love of nature, his love and devotion to God and his desire for peace in the world. He wrote a famous prayer for peace which I think sums up the intention of advent as we await the coming of Christ – Prince of Peace. I leave it with you as a little gift which you might pray in a moment of quiet amidst the noise of the pre-Christmas rush.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Please keep in your thoughts and prayers the family of Alec Laidlaw 11M2, Dominic Batten 8E5 and John Laidlaw (Class of 2015) whose maternal grandfather (Opa), Anthony Charles Hughes Dale, passed last week. May he rest in peace.


Mr Mark Murphy


Reflection through the eyes of our young men

November 26th, 2020

As the academic year concludes it is important to acknowledge the growth and achievement of our students. Whilst challenges were evident in 2020, I have been uplifted by the hope and optimism of our students upon their return to school. In discussions with the boys they have experienced highlights and have learnt new skills and mindset through the adversity. Upon reflecting on this year through the eyes of our young men here at Whitefriars they conveyed their highlights, challenges and successes that they have experienced during the year. I hope you experience the same sense of pride and optimism that I felt after speaking with these students.


Zander Downie, Year 7, Edith Stein

Highlights: Writing. I have enjoyed writing in class and I have had pieces published.

Challenges: Surviving the Home Learning Program (HLP). I overcame this by hoping for the best and counting down the days to return to school.

Successes: Achieving good grades. Participating in extension learning has meant I was able to complete harder work.

It was a really good year, even with HLP. I am glad I chose Whitefriars as my school.


Stanley Toklis, Year 7, Lisieux

Highlights: Building relationships with my teachers – they made learning enjoyable and fun.

Challenges: Coping with HLP, not being able to participate in opportunities at a school. I feel I showed grit and determination and I thought of what school would be like after HLP.

Successes: I feel I had success in my learning through the Shared Stories competition piece – Thank you, Pappou!

It has been an incredible first year at Whitefriars.


Julian Pruscino, Year 7, Trinity

Highlights: Shared Stories, Book Club and Read a Million Words competition.

Challenges: Start of home learning took some time to adjust. It became easier and I was able to work at my own pace.

Successes: Read a Million Words Competition – 7 million words, RE, Mathematics, English enrichment. I was able to achieve excellent grades.

I really enjoyed the way Whitefriars handled isolation and my learning. I couldn’t have picked a better school.


Phillip Deane, Year 8, Brandsma

Highlights: Being able to work independently at my own pace during HLP, developing technology skills, being able to take opportunities that I would not usually participate in.

Challenges: Not having peer help so I had to rely on myself and the teacher to gain the understanding. I did have my twin brother to turn to for help and I emailed my friends for tips.

Successes: Improvement in my Mathematics. Participation in competitions. There was also an opportunity for HRC and SRC leadership roles.

I am grateful for being able to access Whitefriars Learn for the online learning.


Pasindu Ganegoda, Year 8, Brandsma

Highlights: How easy it was to learn and understand the criteria in classroom activities and assessments.

Challenges: Trying to do new things e.g.: learn APA bibliography referencing, Science – sedimentary metamorphic and igneous rocks

Successes: Home learning allowed me to work independently. I asked questions through emails and the Whitefriars Learn forum to clarify my learning

Thank you to my teachers during the HLP classroom.


Lukas Mallios, Year 8, Corsini

Highlights: Effective Speaking Competition and Shared Stories – I really enjoyed these competitions. I also learnt a lot in Mathematics and Wellbeing.

Challenges: Home learning – communicating with teachers, motivation towards the end made it harder as I had to push myself and find new things and new ways to do the work.

Successes: Writing competition; improvement in all subjects.


Anthony Moule, Year 9, Avila

Highlights: HLP independence. I gave me an idea of what learning would be like at Uni with self-study.

Challenges: HLP – lack of motivation as it went longer and longer. I started to do things one step at a time and managed the workload. I missed the ACC team sports.

Successes: Keeping up my grades in home learning. Getting better and improving in some subjects during HLP, such as Mathematics.


Kaspar Nickel, Year 9, Avila

Highlights: Returning to school to see friends.

Challenges: Staying motivated at home during HLP. I learnt to communicate with friends using Zoom.

Successes: My organisation became a lot better working on my own. I think I have worked harder independently to achieve my results.


Luke Verhoeven, Year 10, Lisieux

Highlights: Returning back to school and being part of the Whitefriars community

Challenges: Learning from home was difficult. I had to stay motivated, however I was eventually able to overcome that through hard work.

Successes: Academic achievement during HLP across all subjects resulting in being acknowledged with an acceleration offer in Religion and Society for next year.

The commitment from teachers, particularly during the Home Learning Program, helped me achieve success. Thank you.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning & Teaching



The Resilience Project

November 26th, 2020

In our world today, we know that mental health is a critical component in the overall health of a young person. Unfortunately, we are seeing young people increasingly struggle in this area:

In 2021, Whitefriars College will enter a partnership with The Resilience Project in order to help students develop the skills, strategies and mindset so that their wellbeing and mental health can flourish. The Resilience Project is a Wellbeing Program with a rich curriculum based on 4 key themes: Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy. Throughout the Whitefriars weekly Wellbeing Program, students will be taught to focus on the positive aspects of their lives with a spirit of being grateful. They will also learn to understand others, to feel and see what they do and practice being kind and compassionate to each other. The Resilience Project also teaches young people to be calm and present in any given moment and to understand their own emotions to better manage them.

This evidence-based program is an exciting new initiative so that we can continue our mission of creating gentle men who are compassionate, people of integrity and the best versions of themselves. As well as a weekly lesson delivered by Whitefriars staff, the program will also involve student, staff and parent presentations by Martin Heppell, a member of The Resilience Project Team, so that we are taking a whole school approach to wellbeing. The language and practices of gratitude, empathy, mindfulness and emotional literacy need to permeate all aspect of College life. Parents are also encouraged to be involved in this wellbeing journey and discuss and practice at home these key themes with their sons and with a rich source of information through the TRP@Home website. Further information regarding these presentations will be distributed at the beginning of the new academic year.

I wish all members of the Whitefriars family a safe, holy and enjoyable Christmas break; I thank you for your support and I look forward to the next chapter as we all share in the Whitefriars journey together.

Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students



2021 Year 12 Student Leadership Team

November 26th, 2020

There are many models of student leadership schools adopt. At Whitefriars College, we focus on servant leadership, a philosophy which we have adopted to align with our Catholic Carmelite values of contemplation, community and service. Servant leadership develops leaders who support, listen, empathise and help others to be the best that they can be. We also want our students to actively contribute to the life of the College by giving them a voice and the freedom to express their views about how to make our College thrive.

After a rich process of formation, application and interview, I am very proud to announce the Year 12 Student Leadership Team for 2021. This team comprises College Captains, House Captains, Academic and Community Captains. In partnership with staff, these young men will continue to help our College grow and flourish. Congratulations to all these students and I am confident that these young men will play an important role in shaping and enhancing the Whitefriars community.

2021 Captains
College Captain Charlie Schroder
College Vice-Captains Alexander Pisotek, Baxter House
Ministry & Social Justice Captain Peter Andrikopoulos
Environment Captain Roger Luo, Yianna Komninos
Wellbeing Captain James Newman, Joseph Petrowski
Multicultural Captain Mateaus Pauli
Avila House Captain Hamish Hamilton
Brandsma House Captain Jake De Andrade
Corsini House Captain Hayden Guest
Edith Stein House Captain Liam Downie
Lisieux House Captain Solomon Barnes
Mantua House Captain Edward Levi
Soreth House Captain Matthew Leeson
Trinity House Captain Sam Balman
Art Captain Jack Jenkins
Chess Captain Hayden Menzies
Drama Captain Nick Stackpole, Simon Kruyer
Mathematics Captain Ben Costello
Music Captain Miguel Trujillo, Callum Tham
Ensembles Captain Miguel De la Cruz
English Captain Domenico Lepore
Tech Production Captain Harry Rooney
Science & Technologies Captain Joshua Tapley, Witton Liang
Health & PE Henry Ameer
Humanities Captain Marcus Florio
Languages Captain Alexander Dodds
VCAL Captain Darcy Fenech
Commerce Captain Hugh Steer
Sports Captain Thomas Sonderhof
Sports Vice-Captain Max Hartnett, Baily Hamilton
Cross Country Captain Jonas Morrison, Henry Ameer
Swimming Captain Harry Rooney, Angus Bunker-Smith
Athletics Captain Lachlan Parrot
Athletics Vice-Captain Trent Seegets, Ethan Wu
Basketball Captain Jacob Klos
Badminton Captain Witton Liang
Cricket Captain Thomas Sonderhof
Football Captain Jack Rossimel
Hockey Captain Benjamin Costello
Soccer Captain Peter Andrikopoulos
Table Tennis Captain Benjamin Alberico
Tennis Jack Hartnett
Volleyball Captain Pat Cotter


The College will also be formally introducing a Middle Years Student Representative Council (SRC) comprising Year 7, 8 and 9 students under the guidance of the Director – Middle Years. Furthermore, there will also be a Senior Years SRC comprising Year 10 and 11 students under the guidance of the Director – Senior Years. It is critical that we hear the voices of students from all year levels and I look forward to announcing these very important teams in the new year once they have been finalised.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students

2020 ‘Shared Stories’ celebration

November 26th, 2020

On Wednesday 25 November, the English and Library staff hosted the 15 incredible creative writers from Years 7 to 10 who crafted beautiful and moving stories based on the theme of ‘respect’. Each student received a certificate of participation, and the winners from each year level also collected a $50 Dymocks gift voucher and a copy of the ‘Shared Stories’ anthology which contains their pieces! A big thank you to all the Years 7 to 10 English teachers who helped facilitate the assessment, the judges who picked our top students, and the library for hosting this wonderful event.”






National Recycle Week 2020

November 26th, 2020

Whitefriars College celebrated National Recycle Week last week. The theme was Sustainable Food Movement and the students and staff were invited to a week of events to encourage them to consider their food habits and their impact on the environment.

Students began the week trying vegan sausages and egg free meringues on Meat Free Monday. Mrs Molloy replaced the eggs with chickpea brine. Who would have thought? Boys were suspicious and hesitant about trying these foods, but majority found them enjoyable. Would you introduce Meat Free Monday in your home? For every 500g beef patty, it takes the same amount of water as a 6-hour shower. Agriculture, land clearing and its by-products cause 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. If everyone introduced Meat Free Monday, there are several benefits to the planet and your health. Check out for more information and great meat free recipes.

Future Food Tuesday was a wonderful challenge to try a new food… crickets!! This popular event allowed students to sample a popular overseas protein dish. Crickets on their own, cricket savoury muffins, cricket pasta and cricket corn chips. Well done to the brave Mr Murphy and Mrs Hoinville and the students who hopped to the challenge and learnt about the Sustainable Food Movement. A big thank you to Mrs Ciavarella who purchased and prepared the food. Visit to delight your guests at your Covid-safe Christmas catch up.

Waste free Wednesday focused on reducing the lunchbox waste. Beeswax Wraps making workshop offered participants hands on skills to design and melt the beeswax onto the cloth for a sustainable cover. The Sustainability and Environment Team encourage all households to reduce single use plastics and really not to use cling wrap for school snacks and lunches.

Did you know Australian’s waste one in five shopping bags of food? This equates to 300kg of food per year per person and wastes $20 billion dollars to the Australian economy. It also produces 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. The College learnt bread, cheese, milk and bananas are the main items Aussie households throw out. Mrs Ciavarella and Mrs Molloy’s oatmeal and banana pikelets and frozen banana ice-cream was a hit and the ingredients used were products nearing their shelf life. Check out on how to reduce your food wastage.

Who would have thought we have a College of teetotallers? Bush Tucker Friday offered staff and students indigenous tea and bush tucker herb pita breads to highlight the sustainable food production and sustainable land care of Indigenous people. The strawberry gum, Gumbi Gumbi and Pepper berry tea was very popular for its flavour and medicinal benefits. To read about different bush tucker teas and products, visit

The Sustainability and Environment Team wish to acknowledge the mammoth efforts of the Food Tech staff, Mrs Ciavarella and Mrs Molloy on making the National Recycle Week events an opportunity of learning, trying new things and having fun in the process.


Ms Jo Menzies

Sustainability and Environment Team Facilitator




Law and Order Mock Court

November 26th, 2020

Throughout the week, students undertaking the Year 10 Law and Order elective participated in a mock court case. Students were provided with a real-life learning experience by participating and choreographing their own trial based on real cases. Each student took on different court roles such as prosecution lawyer, jury member, judge, witness and defendant.


Student Reflection

Our Law and Order class did a mock court trial, where we were each assigned roles and had to act out a case. I was assigned to be a defence lawyer, which requires you to defend an accused person and convince the jury they are not guilty. 

The expectations of a defence lawyer are high, you have your own witnesses that you interview, and cross-examine the prosecutor’s witnesses.

There was a lot of preparation required for the case as well, I wrote questions for my witnesses that hopefully proved to the jury that the accused was innocent and also tested their witness statement so that they are seen as trustworthy to the judge and can answer questions from the prosecutor.

I also had to prepare questions for the prosecutor’s witnesses, to hopefully raise doubts about their story and catch them out if they make a mistake.

Overall, the case went very well and the jury found that the accused was not guilty. 

Andrew Sparrow, Year 10, L6


Farewell Class of 2020

November 11th, 2020

In what can only be described as an unprecedented year, the Year 12s of 2020 have almost closed the chapter on their Whitefriars story. In a year usually reserved for significant milestones, they have faced many disappointments and challenges both at school and beyond. In life, it is not the situations we face which define us; it is the way we choose to respond. I was inspired by the resilience and ‘get on with it’ spirit the Class of 2020 showed throughout the year. They chose not to let the factors beyond their control sour their year. Instead, they kept bouncing back, moving forward with courage and a gentle spirit which will be the legacy of the Class of 2020.

As I walked around the yard on the student’s final day of classes, I saw the incredible bonds of friendship which had been forged over their time at school and even though many of the significant Year 12 moments in time did not occur this year, this brotherhood will endure and can never be taken away.

Below is an exert from Alex Dunmill’s College Captain address to his cohort on their final day:

‘The years passed as we grew into our blazers, we demanded top lockers and found our place in the school. Sports, plays, classes, exams, and the standard day – they all helped mould us into the people we are today. Each of our stories will be different and I know I am not capable of giving a speech that resonates with each of your memories here. However, they all share the underlying theme of brotherhood, that despite our differences, we are all Whitefriars boys.

At the end of the day, we all support each other. I have seen that this year in the way that despite our separation, we are closer than ever. We have gone through this as a group, and we have come out with a special bond that only the Class of 2020 will understand. One thing that was always repeated to us each year was to never make light of the opportunities that are offered at this school. Our time here is limited. In less than two hours we are done. We take that last trip out those gates. In roughly a month, our VCE journey will be over. I hope that as our time here runs out, we can all say we made the most of our six years. That we took on every challenge, that we tried every new idea that sparked our interest, and that we placed our mark on the College. Although the sand in the clock has almost run out, that does not mean that our connection here ceases to exist. As I said last night, Whitefriars will always be a special place. Equally, Whitefriars will always be our place. What we have done here will last on in our memories, and in the mates that surround us all today.

Finally, to the boys. The Class of 2020. At times, like all brothers do, you’ve made me want to pull my hair out. But every little thing I may have got worked up over always pales in comparison to the love I have for all of you. That may sound weird to hear that – maybe not from me particularly – but I genuinely love all of you. I have loved the time I have spent with you all and I will always wish for the best in all that you do in the years to come.’

These stirring words from a young man who has led his community so well was a fitting way to say farewell. However, Whitefriars is a home – to those who are currently here and to those who have gone before. I wish all the students well with their exams and remember; once a ‘Friar, always a ‘Friar.



Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students



Visual Arts Exhibition

November 11th, 2020

The Whitefriars Visual Arts Exhibition is a highlight during any given year. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition is reverting to a virtual gallery. Despite the challenge of undertaking the practical elements within Media, Product Design Technology, Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design, the students have developed wonderful art pieces that will engage their audience. Thank you to Visual Arts Captain Andrea Sticca, Ms Georgia Madden (Visual Arts Learning Leader) and our amazing Visual Arts staff.

If you are yet to see it, please click below:




The exhibition has now been extended to 27 November 2020.

Year 7 Science Mullum Mullum Valley Fieldwork Incursion

November 11th, 2020

Year 7 Brandsma and 7 Lisieux enjoyed learning in the College Mullum Mullum Valley this week. The students have been studying their science unit “Habitats and Interactions” and it was a good opportunity to apply that knowledge in the field. Boys could recall the main themes, make observations, record data and apply their learning. Mr Murphy joined the 7B group and reminisced about his time as a student at the College and how students also used the bushland for recreational activities. The incursion included four sites; wetlands, bush track, bushland and the VCAL bird hide structure, where ecosystems, adaptations, food webs and impacts were explored. Whitefriars College is blessed to have this amazing outdoor classroom.

International Games Day 2020

November 11th, 2020

International Games Day was celebrated in the Library at lunchtime on Monday 9 November. Whitefriars students enjoyed being part of a global community of libraries that celebrated the social and educational benefits of games.

This year it was a little different, with masks, sanitising and physical distancing in place. However, this only heightened the joy of being able to play physical games with others at school again, on this special occasion.

The competition around our new Giant Connect 4 game was wonderful to see, with boys from across the year levels using a range of tactics and strategy against their opponents. Similar contests took place at the Chess, Rubik’s Race, Checkers, Backgammon and (normal sized) Connect 4 tables. The highlight for staff was witnessing the sportsmanship and encouragement of others in evidence throughout the library.

Hayden Menzies (Year 11), Haywood Cheng (Year 8) and Darcy Fenech (Year 11) were the lucky winners drawn from the door prize competition. They chose either a Where’s Wally? puzzle or a pack of UNO cards as their reward. All participants received a Matchstick Puzzles kit to take home with them. We hope they will enjoy challenging family members to help them solve these puzzles and they are invited to email Mrs Andison for the solutions.

Staff would like to thank each and every boy who attended for their positive participation and especially for ensuring that everyone had fun.


Mrs Cass Andison

Teacher Librarian


Italian Fun Facts

November 11th, 2020

In Italian, I like to take the attendance roll with each student providing a fun fact about Italy. It may be a question they are curious about or simply a Google search of Italian fun facts. By the end of taking the attendance, all students have learned 22 new facts about Italy that they did not know before. Students are very much engaged in this activity and look forward to starting the lesson with fun facts.


Year 8 Italian fun facts:

James Fennell

What is the oldest school in Italy?

Italy is home to the world’s oldest university, the University of Bologna founded in 1088.

Also, tomatoes came in as a result of the Columbian Exchange and that was not until the 1540s.


Daniel Henderson

The tallest Italian person is 7 ft 6.


Oliver Marelas

The thermometer was made in Italy.


Year 7 Italian Fun Facts

Will Taylor

Is healthcare free in Italy?



Josh Shepherd

What is the most famous restaurant in Italy?

Club del Doge Restaurant (Venice)


Mitch Perera

Eyeglasses are an Italian invention

The average Italian is 41 years old.

Italy imports over 75% of its energy.


Noah Mendes

What is the National Flower of Italy ?



James Cleary

How much of Italy is grass land?


How many school are there in Italy?

17,000 schools

What is the most common name in Italy?


How much money does Italy have?

2.7 trillion

What is Italy’s biggest holiday?


What is the most famous tourist attraction in Italy?

The Colosseum


Ms Paula Barca

Learning Leader – Languages

en English