Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

How do we all allow God’s grace to enter?

February 26th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

There are those moments in all our lives when we have important decisions to make and we are not sure which way to turn. But then, all of a sudden, we have a moment of clarity, of epiphany even, which sets us on the right path and gives us the confidence we need to move forward. Such a moment befell me last week.

Even before the news broke last Wednesday, of a return to on site learning, as a leadership team we were discerning whether we should go ahead with our House Athletics carnival. Our prime concern was the safety of our students and staff. Could we provide an environment where over 1,100 boys and 150 staff would be safely brought together within the appropriate COVID protocols? To support us in our decision we took advice from the experts, we read the protocols provided by DHHS and Catholic Education and I consulted some Principal Colleagues. The answer was still not clear.

We eventually headed over to the College Gymnasium to discuss the matter with our Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator of Sport Kristan Height and Ali Rock. Even after all this perspicacity and discussion, I still was not clear on the direction we should take. Then I spied a basketball on the court, so I picked it up and we started throwing some baskets. In that moment, I looked around and the group was smiling and laughing, having put aside for a moment, the reason we were there. Then it came to me. Didn’t our students and staff deserve this same moment? To put aside all the challenges and anxieties that we face and to just go out and have fun. Then the decision was as clear as day.

Some may say that all we needed was a ‘circuit breaker’ to assist as in coming to the right response. Personally, I like to think that these moments are the work of the Holy Spirit or perhaps the Grace of God. Sometimes we need to stop in those difficult moments, when the way ahead is not clear and breath, reflect, pray or shoot some hoops. It’s all the same thing. Because that is the moment, we allow the spirit to enter in to do the rest.

It is one thing to make a decision, it is another all together to put it into practice. From the moment the decision was made, our community swung into action. Kristan Height and Ali Rock were already set to go having put in place every contingency and protocol to ensure a successful day. Our wonderful House Leaders had were mobilised and ready to unleash the spirit of their Houses. Our staff arrived on the day fully committed to ensuring our students experience would be enjoyable and safe. Then there were the boys themselves, full of energy, gratitude and a strong passion for their house which inspired them to run, jump, throw and cheer their way through the day. What more could we ask for? At the end of the day I looked back and wondered how we could ever have thought that this may not have been a good idea!

A prayer which inspires me and which I quote often is the prayer for St. Oscar Romero which says:

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

The question I leave us all with today is this:

How do we all allow God’s grace to enter and to do the rest?


Mr Mark Murphy



Leading Learning – Student Perspectives

February 26th, 2021

Earlier in the week, I had an amazing experience discussing learning at Whitefriars with our College Academic Captains. In sharing a meal, dialogue flowed as to how our student leaders see their place in the College in leading and developing a learning culture for students in Years 7 to 12. We are blessed to have such wonderful and articulate men in our community who are passionate about learning, their subjects, and serving others. Mr Murphy, Mr Lafferty, Mr Clifford and I were all buoyed by the hope, optimism and enthusiasm of each of our student leaders.

Each leader spoke eloquently about their understanding of the Academic Captain role – to be a role model for all students, promote the academic learning area, encourage students to achieve their best, and to have discussions with boys to open their mind to the different opportunities and pathways. At the same time, they also articulated the notion that they too had to progress themselves with their academic pursuits.

Collectively, the boys spoke of how they were each going to promote global leadership, intercultural understanding and learning. Each captain spoke of the myriad of activities, learning area weeks, clubs, performances, and competitions that they are involved in leading across the College. Likewise, they too understand the importance of their role at Open Day, Activities Week, subject selection and morning tours as a vehicle to promote their learning area.

I congratulate our Academic Captains for 2021 and wish them well in their studies and in serving others in our community: Over the next three In Fide’s, I will introduce each of our Academic Captains.

Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal


Student Leadership Role What would you like to achieve in your role in 2021? What strategies are you going to use to create a learning culture in the learning area or school?

Simon Kruyer


Drama Captain


To inspire more students to get involved in the drama learning area. If there is a performance coming up, some actors could preview a scene from the play at a lunchtime on the canteen decking and students can watch, if they like what they see they can come watch the full play. if they enjoy the play, they might want to participate in plays thus increasing student interest.

Callum Tham

Music Captain Bring a greater focus to music at our school.
Foster budding musicians of every genre.
Provide greater flexibility for the types music that students wish to play.
Introduce a Digital Music Production club.
Attend and assist at junior rock workshop.

Look for students who enjoy playing music and have musical talent

Make music both a social and a learning environment. Music is learnt better this way because it makes people want to practice. e.g. allow younger students during music in smaller groups but still provide a deadline for performances as this still motivates them.

Joshua Tapley

Science and Technology Captain I would like to encourage younger students to participate in STEW club Introduce more practical and fun activities for Middle Years students. Most kids enjoy the hands-on aspect of science and exploring things concepts and ideas through observation. Try and get them to learn of each other through observation. Students ask the questions

Witton Liang

Science Captain I would like to promote science subjects within the school. Increase practical activities that correlate to different year levels in science.

Henry Ameer

Health and PE Captain As the inaugural captain for Health and PE, I hope to learn from my mistakes and better myself individually. I also hope to build a pathway for the following Health and PE captains to ensure they are successful in their endeavours. I will access and require the help of the staff, students and rest of the Student Representative Council, much like they will require my help.

Nicholas Stackpole

Drama Captain I would like to bring new interest and life to the performing arts learning area so that it thrives in the future. I would like to get more students to participate in performing arts and to bring more awareness to my area.


3rd place at ACC Athletics Carnival!

February 26th, 2021

What a huge result yesterday, with Whitefriars finishing 3rd in the ACC Athletics!

In what was a beautiful day, the team headed to Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park, determined to make an impact in 2021, after the event was cancelled last year. The ACC Athletics squad has been in full training since the start of the term and Coaches Mr Worner, Mr Savage and Mr Kellar were confident of a good showing. Captains Lachie Parrott, Ethan Wu and Trent Seegets led the team well, ensuring that the squad was fully prepared.

After a strong showing throughout the day, Whitefriars was in contention to achieve their goal. The reigning champions, Parade, were announced as the winners of the evening, leaving the Friars in 3rd place! A big congratulations to the U/16 boys who won their age group and the boys/teams that won their events, some achieving ‘Personal Best’ results.

There were many contributors throughout the day and all the boys really put in a lot of effort for the Whitefriars team. Over the past 3 weeks, the team had over 80 students in attendance at training (Tues and Thurs mornings from 7am) which provided the fitness and grit required to achieve such a great result.

A huge thank you must go to the Athletic Captains and coaches, Lachie, Ethan, Trent, Mr Worner, Mr Kellar, Ms Bates and Mr Savage for all of their hard work preparing and coordinating the team. Planning is already underway preparing for the 2022 Carnival where we will hopefully see the Whitefriars boys take the next step and challenge for the Division 1 shield.


Mr Kristan Height

Sports Coordinator



Granger wins Robot Wrestling Championship!

February 26th, 2021

On Wednesday 24 February the STEW Club (Science Technology and Environment Club) met for the first time this year, to compete in the robot wrestling competition. People who were interested in robots, science and technologies came down to have a bit of fun and enjoy one of the College’s co-curricular offerings. We brought out the Ollies and competed against each other; the goal to become the 2021 Robot Wrestling champion. We had to stay in the arena, marked out by tape, longer than the other competitor. Each winner would then compete against another winner. In the end, there could only be one winner, but it was a great experience for all of us.

Congratulations to Granger Wheatley for being the Robot Wrestling champion.


Joshua Tapley

Science and Technology Student Captain


Friars Hivers Beekeeping Club Honey Harvest

February 26th, 2021

Monday 22 February was an exciting day for the Friars Hivers Beekeeping Club. Fifteen kilos of pure honey were extracted from the College hive for the first time. The hive was installed in the College bushland in June, last year. The Italian Queen bee has created a calm and efficient community where out of a possible 24 frames in the hive, only 7 frames were taken to extract the honey. Seventeen frames filled with honey were left for the bees to have over winter. 30 x 500g jars have been filled with this amazing substance, produced by the bees, after collecting nectar from the Mullum Mullum Valley manna gum and messmate gum flowers. Friars Hivers Beekeeping Club have learnt about bee behaviour, beekeeping tools, safety, maintenance and keeping the bees healthy and happy. The Friars Hivers Beekeeping honey is for sale for $15/500g. Contact for orders. And as our resident beekeeper Will S states “It’s delicious!”

Ms Jo Menzies

Sustainability & Environment Team


Year 10 Indonesian – Whitefriars and CLC

February 26th, 2021

It has become somewhat of a tradition that our Year 10 Indonesian students engage in letter writing and other language activities with the Year 10 CLC students and their first communication is the exchange of Valentine’s Day cards. There was a great deal of glitter, stickers and artistry involved in this year’s creations along with some sincere greetings conveyed, in Indonesian of course. The students were able to ‘meet’ via Zoom and with the introductions now complete, we are looking forward to being able to meet in person as the year progresses. Ideally, we will be able to share some Indonesian food, some language based activities and some conversation as the students continue their studies in this subject. It is a great way to enhance the language experience and by extending our learning beyond our classroom, we hope that we will develop some strong communication skills and make some new friends along the way.

Mrs Karen Scott

Indonesian teacher


Science, Technology and Environment Club

February 12th, 2021

The Science and Environment College Captains have been busily visiting Year 7 and 8 Science Classes to promote the Science, Technology and Environment Club. The program’s community focus is to extend and motivate students in the areas of scientific and environmental knowledge, critical thinking and to inspire passion in the sciences, technology and environment. We encourage all students with an interest in science, technology and environment to come along every Wednesday in the innovation’s lab, T3.04  – our first session (now commencing Wednesday 24 February) students will be introduced to Robot Wrestling.


Year 10 Gen Science Wetlands Incursion

February 12th, 2021

World Wetlands Day was celebrated on Tuesday 2 February. Whitefriars College has its own wetlands developed in the 1990s. Doctor Goodall’s Year 10 General Science alternative path class used the wetlands as an outdoor classroom last week. The group participated in the Introduction to Global Systems wetlands incursion to support their learning by completing hands-on field work. Students sat under the shade of the messmate eucalyptus trees to discuss how the human species has a relationship with the Earth’s biosphere (our life support) and how the biosphere components including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biota are interrelated. After students could find evidence of these spheres in the College wetlands, soil and water testing were completed. Before the testing one student noted “the water looks disgusting!”. After collecting temperature, turbidity and pH data, the same student was then able to comment “the water is dark because the turbidity (how much particles are suspended in the water) is very high which results in a higher water temperature. Although it looks polluted the pH is 6.5 which means its acidic level is very, very, weak. It’s almost neutral like water.” The soil sample was placed in a jar of water, shaken and after 48 hours the different sand, silt and clay layers settled to reveal the wetlands soil type is mostly clay. The class will follow up this incursion with investigating human impacts in a few weeks.

Whitefriars College is fortunate to have a wetlands, bushland and creek in its school yard to be used as an outdoor class to support students learning.


Ms Jo Menzies

Sustainability and Environment Team facilitator

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

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