Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

James Phelan Writing Workshop

September 17th, 2020

Reflection on ‘How to tell a gripping story’

By Joshua Sarlos, Year 8

On Friday 3 September, James Phelan, bestselling author and creator of the popular book series The Last Thirteen, held his second writer’s workshop over Zoom. This workshop was organised by the library staff and was a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy and learn.

The workshop itself consisted of an introduction by James Phelan and a journey through his life, showing the students key moments from his childhood and the events that he used as inspiration for his stories later in life. James inspired us while speaking about events – like when he decided he wanted to be an author – and everything that happened before he truly set his path to his dream career.

James talked about how he got his first book published and then went on to explain where he draws inspiration for the characters featured in his stories, such as from his real-life close friends and family. Following this, James explained how he believed “writing was the hardest part” and the many stages of editing and review a book goes through before it is published, educating everyone that it may not be as easy as it seems.

Finally, James answered questions from the students, giving them an insight into how he writes, and sharing his knowledge with the participants. He gave tips on how to do things like come up with a good ending, show true character in a tricky situation and how to add better description to your writing.

James Phelan’s writing workshop was an educating and fun experience for everyone who attended. I’m sure that nobody will forget how he inspired them that day.”


Curious Creatures, Wild Minds

In addition to the enlightening virtual author workshops focusing on suspenseful writing, Book Week 2020 at Whitefriars was celebrated with online quizzes on the CBCA theme of Curious Creatures, Wild Minds. At this time of year, we also highlight the CBCA Shortlisted titles, from which the winners will be announced in late October.

Congratulations to the following students who achieved places in the Book Week quizzes:

Dr Seuss Kahoot


Mrs Jenny Corbin

Learning Leader – Library


Mrs Cass Andison

Teacher Librarian



Whitefriars Day – Something Special

September 16th, 2020

In times of hardship and challenge, we look for strength and support from the communities with which we belong. We are blessed to have a wonderful community at Whitefriars and the celebration of Whitefriars Day on Friday 11 September, where over 1000 people gathered virtually, was a testament to this.

The day began with a liturgy led by our Carmelite Chaplains Father Paul Sireh, Brother Sean Keefe and our Liturgy and Social Justice Captains, Zain O’Neil and Luke Harford. College Captain, Alex Dunmill spoke to the community about the supportive environment at Whitefriars, the brotherhood which exists and the strong sense of family. This was followed by a series of testimonies from the young men of Whitefriars who shared with the community what it means to them to be a Whitefriars boy. Thank you to Toby Brown, Josh Hannan, Ben Bugeja, Baxter House, Joel Savy, Landen Couper, Amin Yekta and Sourav Gary who spoke about the following qualities of our community – courage, wearing the uniform with pride, achieving the best you can, looking after your mates, a supportive community, being selfless and serving others and being a gentle man.

Mr Murphy, our College Principal, addressed the community and spoke of the Carmelite tenants of Prayer, Community and Service and how these are the essence of the Whitefriars community.

Finally, to continue to foster our connection to the people of Timor Leste and our support of the Carmelites who work closely with them, the traditional Walkathon was replaced with the ‘Walk in Their Shoes’. Students and families were encouraged to go for a 40-minute walk, symbolic of the average time it takes a Timorese student to walk to school. The accompanying photographs show the spirit and solidarity expressed by our community and the video below, put together by Mayra Walsh, Community Development Ministry Director for the Carmelites, made it real and provided us with inspiration and awareness of our friends in Timor-Leste.

The day was a wonderful celebration of Whitefriars College and showed that when under duress, the strength of a community shines through. A special thanks to Mr Joshua Vujcich, Director – Identity, Mission and Faith for steering the planning and delivery of the day.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students



The Carmelites supporting you

September 16th, 2020


Order prayer cards

Manningham City Council Citizen Scientist Holiday Fun

September 16th, 2020

Manningham City Council and Melbourne Water are offering citizen scientists activities for the community to engage in over the holidays. Below is a link to the App and information. Please adhere to COVID regulations, always go with an adult and be mindful of your safety around water and the bushland. Dial 000 in case of emergency.


Frog Census Program via the Application

If you hear a frog load the app, take a recording and send it in for identification. MMC are working towards accessing this data to create some Frog Identification maps for Manningham.


Platyspot Program via the Application

Similar to the Frog Census Application if you are walking along a waterway and see a Platypus, then log it in with this Platyspot App. Manningham is also working towards data sharing so we can include this data in our reporting.


Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Council sponsors this program and we receive the data and create important bird maps from the information citizen scientists collect.  Don’t forget to record all the water and terrestrial birds found around Manningham on your walks.


Spring Outdoors program

Manningham is again running a huge Spring Outdoors program. We have a heap of online things to participate in.


The Sustainability and Environment Team wish you a wonderful and safe term holiday.


Ms Jo Menzies

Sustainability and Environment Team

Health, PE and Environment Week

September 16th, 2020

To celebrate Health, PE and Environment Week from 31 August to 4 September, the PE Learning Area joined with the Sustainability and Environment Team to design an action packed engaging five-day program for the whole College community.

WFC@Home Olympics embraced the Olympic spirit of the postponed Tokyo Games to encourage everyone to get moving and be sustainable. Students and staff have enjoyed a variety of activities across the week.

Starting on Move it Monday students were encouraged to move with two awesome sessions on offer. Students, staff and their children, took part in a Live Basketball Skills Session with expert basketballer Joe Mutimer (class of 2019) and a Live Personal Training Session with Byron Koester (Immortal Fitness). A week-long competition to find the best Strava artist was also announced.

Tasty Tuesday provided students the chance to explore their sustainable food side to create a vegetarian meal, whilst Wellbeing Wednesday allowed students to take some time out and be mindful. Ben Horsnaill of Year 12 Trinity showed us how with a fantastic video on Forest Bathing.

Watch the videos here:

Ben’s Forest Bathing

Year 11 PE students also incorporated these activities as part of their practical work in a unit an Activity Planning.

Wednesday also offered staff an opportunity to do some Self Care with Carly from Diamond Valley Myotherapy and Exercise to work on their posture and release some tight neck muscles.

Technique Thursday allowed students to work on refining any number of sporting skills, which was also incorporated into the Jnr Sport Program. Students and staff were also able to fine tune their motivational skills with a 30 sec motivational Rev Up.

Finally Fun Friday provided excitement with Mr Murphy and School Captain Alex Dunmill attempting to beat the Guinness World record for most peas eaten with a toothpick in 30 seconds, challenging staff and students to do the same. Students also took part in the Famous Sporting faces competition.


Results of the week are as follows:

Strava Art – Weeklong Activity

1st Place ($20 Rebel voucher) by Jacob Tymms (Year 8): Fish biting a Fisherman

2nd Place ($10 Canteen Voucher) by James Cleary (Year 7): James

3rd Place ($5 Canteen Voucher) by Harry Beagley (Year 10): Radar Speed Gun



Elian Deeb (Year 7): COVID-19

Riley Jones (Year 7): A guy wearing a Russian hat

Riley Di Conza (Year 7): Elephant

Jacob Tymms (Year 8): Surfing dude, Woolly Mammoth, Karate Kid

Ned Hargreaves (Year 10): The Stingray

James Williams (Year 10): The Slide

Harry Apostolopoulos (Year 10): Dodgem Car

Angus Bunker Smith (Year 11): Flying Bird


Move It Monday Photography Competition

Gold ($50 JB Hi-Fi voucher) by Xavier Barker (Year 12): Bamboo Forest

Silver ($30 JB Hi-Fi voucher) by Jordy Walton (Year 9): Mansfield

Bronze ($20 JB Hi-Fi voucher) by Jett McIntyre (Year 9): Jonquil



Hayden Guest (Year 11): Prodigious Sunset


Roger Luo (Year 11): Squiddly Boy

Fynn Jones (Year 11): Arapiles Gold

Harry Apostoulos (Year 10): Hanging with the Buds

Xavier Barker (Year 12): Taronga zoo tiger


Tasty Tuesday Vegetarian MasterChef Winners

Gold ($20 Rebel voucher and vegetarian cookbook) – Elian Deeb (Year 7)


Wellbeing Wednesday Photo Winners

Gold ($20 Rebel voucher) – Lochie Reidy (Year 10)

Silver ($10 Canteen voucher) – Jacob Klos (Year 11)

Bronze ($5 Canteen voucher) – Will Maxwell – Evans (Year 11)


Technique Thursday Recycled Art Competition

Gold ($20 Rebel voucher) – Haywood Chen (Year 8): Camera

Silver ($10 Canteen voucher) – Phil Deane (Year 8): Cockatoo Sculpture

Bronze ($5 Canteen voucher) – Toby Dabelstein (Year 7): Toilet Roll Monster & Luke Hall (Year 8): WW11 Corsair


Famous Faces Quiz

Gold ($20 Rebel voucher) Zoravar Deo (Year 10)

Silver ($10 canteen voucher) David Bell (Staff)

Bronze ($5 canteen voucher) Evan Smeed (Staff)


Pea Eating

Gold ($20 Rebel voucher) Pat O’Shannasy (Year 8) – 29 Peas



Alex Dunmill – 26 peas

Mark Murphy – 20 peas


The Health and PE team thank all students and staff for their involvement in the very first “Remote Health Pe and Enviro Week”.


Mrs Katherine Smith

Learning Leader – Health and Physical Education


Event: Spring Planting with Maria

September 16th, 2020

The Science Technology and Environment @ Whitefriars (STEW) Club are presenting a gardening workshop with teacher, Ms Maria Ciavarella.

Her talk, “Getting Ready for a Bumper Harvest” is open to parents and staff and will occur on the first Tuesday of the holidays, 22 September from 7 – 8:30pm.

To RSVP, please email:

Learning new skills

September 4th, 2020

Father’s Day will mean a great deal more for me this year.

My daughter, our first born, is in my arms as I write this article – she is just days old, being home for minutes.

Last week was filled with emotion; anticipation, fear, intrigue, overwhelming happiness, excitement and apprehension. I am sure fathers in our community can return to the moment their son entered into the world and recall these feelings. However, I suspect many would not have worn masks throughout the duration of a birth and stay in hospital (COVID-19).

Upon reflection (yes, we have had some quiet moments), I began to think about the life skills that prepared me for this key moment in becoming a dad. Fortunately, I have had wonderful parents, teachers and mentors that have guided, questioned, challenged and nurtured me so that I have a suite of skills and a positive mindset.

Learning new skills and seeking understanding on new topics has been important as I look to care for a newborn.

Many of the skills and habits our teachers are teaching and promoting to our students are similar to those skills I have used to learn new things during the past week. These transferrable life skills are important towards fostering positive relationships, along with reflecting, questioning, communicating, thinking critically and problem solving. Changing a nappy or swaddling a newborn are necessary skills but more importantly, it is being able to effectively deal with challenges in different situations using the ‘soft’ or ‘essential’ skills that can make a difference in the learning process.

So, what does this mean for our young men studying in the Home Learning Program?

It is challenging at the moment with COVID restrictions but to avoid or retreat is not an excuse.

Use available resources (parents, siblings, peers and teachers) to improve your understanding of the people around you and the circumstance you are in. Acquire new skills by looking at opportunities to further develop oneself. Ask questions when you don’t have the answers to ensure understanding. Learn from your mistakes – reflect on how you can improve.

Continue the journey to become gentle men. You will fully understand this term when you hold and care for a child.

To the Whitefriars boys, spend some time thanking your dad this weekend. Stay strong and prepare well for your studies.

To the Dads, Happy Father’s Day.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching


Happy Father’s Day

September 2nd, 2020

In lieu of our annual Father’s Day breakfast, we would like to wish all of the fathers, stepfathers, male teachers and mentors – a wonderful Father’s Day via this video.

In this year of unequivocal change, we hope that you have been given a greater glimpse into your son (and what makes him tick!) and that what you’ve both learnt about each other, changes your lives for the better.

The College community wishes you a wonderful weekend.


Whitefriars Day

September 2nd, 2020

There is something special about Whitefriars College. I have interviewed countless prospective students and parents over the years, and I couldn’t count the number of times these parents have commented on the incredible ‘feel’ they got when they walked around the College on a tour or during Open Day.

On Friday 11 September, the College community will be celebrating Whitefriars Day (formally known as Mount Carmel Day). The aim of the day is to celebrate the fantastic Whitefriars community we belong to, connect with our Catholic Carmelite tradition and raise awareness of our connection and support of the people of Timor-Leste, (the photos you see are the wonderful young people of Timor-Leste). This year, we will all be participating in a virtual event with a few additions to make the day more meaningful.

Instead of the traditional walkathon, we have planned a special event called ‘Walk in Their Shoes’ and this is where we need the support of the whole Whitefriars community. In line with Victorian Government restrictions permitting exercise ‘once a day for up to 1 hour within a 5km radius of a person’s home’, we ask students and extend an invitation to families to walk for 40 minutes around their local area in solidarity with young people in Timor-Leste. The 40 minutes is significant as it is the average walking time it takes a young Timorese to walk to school. When exercising with your family, be sure to take a photo and send it to so that we can share this amazing community experience.

Mr Joshua Vujcich, Director – Identity, Mission & Service, has prepared a short video (for staff and students) to promote this significant day.

Whitefriars Day

I hope it is a wonderful celebration as we join together as a community and celebrate all that is great about Whitefriars.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students


2020 College Writing Competition – Winners

September 2nd, 2020

Well done to all students who took part in the College Writing Competition. The winning pieces (1st placed only) will be published in the ‘Shared Stories’ Anthology and each of the winners and their families will be invited to attend the online launch of this anthology.

To read these wonderful winning pieces, please click here.

We encourage all of our writers to keep writing – every piece we read showed real promise! Thank you to all for your participation in the competition!

Year 7

Stanley Toklis and

Zander Downie

‘Thank You Pappou’

‘Sophia – our special little angel’

2nd Noah Mendez ‘Respect’
3rd Julian Pruscino ‘Respect and why it is important’
Year 8
1st Phil Deane ‘The Lap’
2nd Albert Yip ‘Shining Light’
3rd Lukas Mallios ‘Respectfully Yours’
Year 9

Lewis Cameron

Kaspar Nickel



2nd Joseph Li-Sculli Untitled
3rd Liam Watts Untitled
Year 10
1st Evan O’Connor ‘Memories Under a Drop Sheet’
2nd Ben Smith ‘Respect’

Jack Mow

Harry Begley

‘Seeing Red’


With our sincere thanks to:

We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these students at a morning tea celebration at a later date to be confirmed. Students will receive their prizes and certificates at this morning tea.


Mr Andrew Wight

Learning Leader of English, on behalf of the English Learning Area

La Trobe University Online Incursions

September 2nd, 2020

Last week, the VCE Unit 3/4 Biology students participated in their 3rd and final online Biology incursion. Run by the La Trobe University Outreach Program, these symposiums provide students with opportunities to watch science in action that reflects their Unit 3/4 coursework.

The students are very thankful that the La Trobe University Outreach Team were able to adapt their usual program and make themselves available to our cohort. This experience will provide them with valuable information and some expertise relating to some of their College-assessed coursework, as well as their upcoming exam.

Mr Kristan Height


From the Sustainability and Enviro Team

September 2nd, 2020

Health, PE and Environment Week 2020

The Sustainability and Environment Team have had a great week co-running the Health PE and Environment Week. The focus has been around the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 sustainability theme, Be Better, Together, for the Planet and People by organising a WFC @ Home Olympics week. Students have had the opportunity to enter the “Be Good” photography competition, create a vegetarian MasterChef video, learn how to forest bath, create a recycled art piece and a how-to grow snow peas guide. Thank you to the staff and captains, who have put together the activities and to the staff and students who have participated.

Check out the Environment Captain, Max’s video on cooking the perfect breakfast hash:

Spring is in the air!

Our gardens and local environments have been an important space to the college community during the Home Learning Program. A Year 10 student recently reflected “My garden acts as a resort for me to relax, take a break, put my feet up and enjoy a warm beverage with a beautiful view. I especially love my garden because you can have a clear view of the sun rising in the east, passing north and setting in the west, which is a very warming and relaxing feeling to have it pass through while relaxing in my backyard.

Spring is such a wonderful time to spend in the garden. Whitefriars College’s multi-talented food tech, Maria Ciavarella, offers gardening know how and tips on her website


A Proud Gardener – my favourite hobby – Gardening by Roger Luo (11)

Roger Luo’s reflection “A Proud Gardener” explains his hard work and challenges at establishing his garden and a worm farm in his suburban backyard and offers encouragement to others to give it a go. He writes:

“Whether it’s trying to get some fresh air, have fun with the family, protect the environment, reduce food waste, getting some sunshine, curing the LOCKDOWN boredom, or just trying to do anything in your free time instead of mindlessly browsing YouTube FOREVER… Gardening can help you achieve all of them(hopefully).

You see, gardening is like life, you put in the hard work, cater for the plants, and you will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest that make you so happy. I started with some very simple, low risk high reward gardening. The first year, I bought tomato and cucumber seedlings from the nursery. Throughout the next two years, I slowly leaned when to transplant, how to start from seed and appreciates the beauty of the growing process.

Currently, it’s the best season to get deep into gardening, spring. Right now, around the garden I am doing a few things:

  1. Nursing and getting the summer seedlings ready for this planting season
  2. Trying out some new heirloom varieties (basically a rare and exotic variety of the plants, they will really impress your parents)
  3. Caring for my Avocado, Plums, Lemon, persimmon, fig and date tree (quite a mouthful)
  4. Worm farming and starting to compost
  5. Ordering a CRAZY amount of seeds (in my defence it’s very hard to resist)
  6. Clearing out the dying peas
  7. Burying more vegie scraps in the soil
  8. Starting potted rosemary
  9. planting potatoes in felt bags

Gardening provides you with a new world of fun you never knew existed, and it is just the best biting into fresh food that YOU grew. More than that I think it allows you to enjoy life in a new light, which is especially needed during the lockdown.

However, such rewards do not come without challenges, like all things in life. Gardening for a high schooler whose parents are not into or understand gardening is a HARD task. In fact, that’s me, my parents always thought gardening is gross, smells and dirty so they opposed everything that I did. For the potential gardeners out there, I would suggest that you:

  1. Do not get too carried away with YouTube videos. Overall, they are passionate gardeners who are willing to spend a lot more money on gardening than what your parents would probably want to spend.
  2. Start small, don’t specifically get that coco coir and perlite soil just for the seeds, soil is soil. You don’t need to plant a lot of vegies, it can just be a pot of well cultivated rosemary on the window sill.
  3. Use fabric pots, get potato grow bags, or felt, fabric containers, they are cheap and reusable
  4. Grow something that are easy and rewarding, usually the easiest crop to grow is root crops, *cough* radishes *cough*, they mature in a month! Need I say more?
  5. Compost, not only is it good for your garden, it literally is a part to curb the global warming, I’m sure you can convince you parents to slow global warming because no one wants a bushfire disaster again.
  6. Favourite YouTube gardener is Kevin from Epic Gardening and Self-sufficient Me(

I hear you say composting is too expensive, well say no more: compost revolution provides you with up to 80% off! Overall the most important tip is don’t give up, when you think its all over, gardening is like life – about persistence. “



Guilt Free Father’s Day

Palm Oil education is important at the college. As you hover in the confectionary aisle this week picking out a Father’s Day sweet gift, be empowered that your generosity extends beyond your home. Your money can support companies who are working very hard at using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), which supports communities, conserves habitats for orang-utans, Sumatra tigers, gibbons, Asian elephants and ecosystems. Australian labelling laws means palm oil content can be hidden and you could be supporting deforestation, animal cruelty and community poverty. Visit for more information. Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping App and understand what’s in your trolley and who you are supporting.

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