Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

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.

Our Lady of Sion Tour

September 2nd, 2020

Science and Technology Week: Deep Blue

September 2nd, 2020

Between 17 – 20 August, the College celebrated Science and Technology Week remotely with a range of exciting activities. The theme for National Science Week this year, was Deep Blue, which involved a focus on science and history of the ocean. Each day, a different quiz with a different theme was sent out to students, competing to win a variety of prizes. We would like to congratulate the daily quiz winners:

We would also like to recognise everyone who participated in activities throughout the week; ranging from virtual deep-sea dives, watching science films (SCINEMA), an online scavenger hunt and cuttlefish counting competition. Notably, on Tuesday, we hosted a virtual escape room which had students solve an increasingly challenging underwater puzzles in forty-five minutes. The fastest times to complete the all the puzzles came from Zander Downie and James Dorrat Sims. Congratulations.

We hope that all these activities stimulated and engaged the College’s curious minds and we hope that they continue to nurture and grow their curiosities in their studies and other extra-curricular activities!

A massive thank you to Mrs Carboon and Ms Menzies for organising the activities of Science Week, providing the resources for the week and STEW club, and persisting through, despite the unusual circumstances. In addition, we would also like to give a massive thank you to Mr Berryman, who turned up to each activity and hosted both the SCINEMA viewing on Wednesday and created the Quizzizz on Thursday.

If you wish to participate in other science-based activities this year, please contact Mrs Carboon to join STEW Club. Currently, we are learning the science behind the Rubik’s cube with special students showing us the ropes on how to solve a 3×3 Rubik’s cube in under a minute!

Written by Daniel Borg and Ben Clarke (Year 12)

Re-framing and overcoming adversity

August 20th, 2020

With remote learning comes many curriculum challenges, none more difficult than trying to run a sports program and keeping a group of active, sport-loving boys engaged. Our intrepid Sport Department, led by Mr Kristan Height and Ms Ali Rock put together a suite of elite guest presenters to help our young men stay connected and while not being able to do what they love, still learn about how sport mirrors life and how to approach challenges from those who have experienced success and fulfilment in their lives. They include:

Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Australia’s most decorated basketballer, Andrew Gaze, speak to our Year 9 and 10 ACC teams. Andrew is a 5-time Olympian, NBL Championship winner with the Melbourne Tigers and NBA Championship winner with the San Antonio Spurs. One of his messages to the boys focussed on adversity. He stated that getting through adversity makes the outcome much more rewarding. He spoke about his team’s 1997 NBL season. In the first 12 matches, they had only won 3 and as a team they were facing significant adversity. They ended up winning the championship that year and as you could imagine, the reward became so much more meaningful for the team. The choices they made led to the ultimate reward.  He also spoke about how important it is to find something positive in every situation. You might need to search for it, but it is there. This is a really important lesson which is designed to re-frame a person’s thinking. Rather than dwelling on what we don’t have, can’t do or struggle with, we can look at what we do have and what we can do.

We are facing significant adversity at the moment – at times it may appear insurmountable, like a 3-9 start to the season. The actual situation is beyond our control; the choices we make about how we respond are not.

Please stay safe and with the right mindset, much can be overcome.

Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students


ACC Open Chess Tournament

August 20th, 2020

On Thursday 20 August, seven other boys and I went online for our third Online Interschool Chess event, the ACC tournament.

After the first competition, all returning players were used to the online system, while others still needed to get used to it. That didn’t stop us though, as we worked together to make sure we were ready to do the best we could.

After a quick introduction and reminder of the way the day would go – we would play seven matches against people from other schools, each round playing someone doing about as well as us – we were ready for our first games. We talked to each other all day and created a positive atmosphere, enjoying the wins while learning from the losses. The seven games were over in no time at all, with 62 people and 10 schools participating in division 2.

Going into the last round, we were tied for first. In the end, it came down to a single match between us and the other winning team, unfortunately, our player ended up losing the game, but we still finished in second, one point behind the eventual winners, Emmanuel (St Paul’s).

Despite the loss, we all gave a big effort and had a great time, and everyone was somewhat successful with at least 3 wins, with Jacob Sanderson winning all seven of his games.

After the tournament ended, we went back to our school work.

A massive thank you to Ms Powling for organising our place in the competition, providing us with resources to continue to practice chess while Chess Club cannot meet, and keeping us up-to-date while the technical difficulties persisted.

If you want to participate in chess this year, there will be more online competitions later in the year, including another ACC competition. Websites such as chess and lichess are available 24/7 for you to play against other people or challenge your friends to help you improve your skills. If you want to improve your strategy and tactics, you can try: ideachess or chesstempo

Hayden Menzies


Reading Millions

August 20th, 2020

It was wonderful to celebrate online with the Read a Million Words House Challenge participants this week. The 2020 challenge was run largely remotely, as it was both launched and concluded during the first and second Home Learning Programs respectively. Students should be very proud of their outstanding reading efforts as well as rising to the added challenges of verifying their reading in a virtual manner. Their book reviews are being shared with the Whitefriars community, encouraging other students to read the books they have recommended.

In particular, a fantastic achievement was the number of words read by all participants – staff and students – across all houses, which has doubled from the previous year: 104,146,768 million words!

A number of students set a personal goal to read 1-5 books, some many more.  Congratulations to all student and staff participants who met or exceeded their reading goals, as well as to the following award winners:

Most Words Read:

Well done to these Year 7 students too, for reading the most in their English classes:

A special message from international award-winning author James Phelan concluded the celebration. We look forward to James running writing workshops for Whitefriars College during our upcoming Book Week.


Mrs Jenny Corbin                                        Mrs Cass Andison

Learning Leader – Library                          Teacher Librarian


Student quotes:

“I’m so happy that I read three times as many words as last year!” (Year 8 Avila student)

“Because of the Read a Million, I got to discover the world of books and the magic of the stories.” (Year 7 Mantua student)

“I liked participating in the Read a Million because it allowed me to read new books from new authors…” (Year 7 Trinity student)

“Because of the Read a Million I have new ideas of stories I would like to write or to adapt/create as a film.” (Year 9 Lisieux student)

“Because of the Read a Million, I read a non-school book, which I have not done for a while.” (Year 8 Corsini student)

“The Read a Million is fun to do as it gets points for the house, especially this year with the swimming carnival and other house events not happening.” (Year 12 Corsini student)

“I liked participating in the Read a Million because I simply just love reading.” (Year 7 Brandsma student)

“Read a Million it encouraged me to read more books.” (Year 8 Avila student)

“Because of the Read A Million I have developed a much greater love for books and so I spend a lot of my spare time reading.” (Year 7 Lisieux student)

“I liked participating in the Read a Million because it gave me a chance to read a book that I kept putting off!” (Year 7 Soreth student)

“Because of Read a Million I had the motivation to read an entire series of books.” (Year 8 Lisieux student)











Success at the Illuminate NextGen Challenge

August 20th, 2020

Congratulations to all Year 9 students who participated in the Illuminate NextGen Challenge! Whitefriars virtually ‘sent’ two teams to compete in the Challenge and they really tested themselves and demonstrated great entrepreneurial skills throughout the week-long intensive program.

The following students achieved 3rd place overall (out of 13 teams in Victoria and Tasmania) for their business idea ‘Mangu’.

In addition, the following students achieved the Students Choice Award for their business solution, VQME:

Congratulations to all involved, you made Whitefriars very proud.

Mrs Cape-Murphy

Learning Leader – Commerce

More for Men’s Health – SRC Week 2020

August 17th, 2020

Unhindered by a global pandemic, the students of Whitefriars celebrated their annual SRC Week in early August, albeit a little differently this year.

The SRC unanimously decided to make the theme of the week Men’s Health and shaped all communications and competitions around this vital and timely topic. Daily emails were written by Wellbeing Captains Will Hardiman and Josh Barnard. These contained a daily app recommendation, Men’s Health Competition and health tips. In a bid to raise spirits, take care of mental health and improve learning at home; students were reminded of the importance of eating healthily, getting enough quality sleep, staying connected with mates and spending time in the sun doing their daily exercise.

These messages were echoed by the challenges which saw students competing for five coveted Rebel Sport gift vouchers. The challenges included Whitefriars Masterchef, Best Trickshot, Pet Parade, Exercise in COVID and a photography competition with the theme “What does men’s health mean to you?”

The entries came flooding in, highlighting the range of students we have getting creative in the kitchen, being active in the great outdoors, showing off a menagerie of pets and nailing the perfect trick shot. The first try every time, of course.  Congratulations to the winning students James Palumbo, Jacob Reginato, Cameron Ellis, Luke Hall and Matt and Phil Deane who are now the proud custodians of the Rebel Vouchers.

To finish off a fabulous week and to pay homage to the traditional Lip Sync Battle that was unable to occur; the staff of Whitefriars banded together to create a fabulous rendition of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. The video reminded everyone to find the fun in every day and how wonderful it is to be a part of our vibrant community. A big thankyou to the senior students for facilitating this video and to the staff who volunteered to be in it.


Miss Kelly Hoinville

Coordinator – Student Activities



Friday concerts launch!

August 17th, 2020

2020 was not the year any of us were expecting!

All our Concerts, Soirees, Eisteddfods and Festivals cancelled due to the Covid 19 epidemic.

Despite this major setback, our boys have been working hard in their zoom lessons and have an extensive range of repertoire but nowhere to perform!

To celebrate their work and commitment to music, we will be holding a Zoom concert at 1-30pm – 2pm every Friday.

Different boys will perform each week and our wonderful music captains will be hosting the event!

If you would like to support our very talented boys and listen to some virtual music we would love you to join us. Ask your son for details.

Term 3 Transition Report

August 5th, 2020

Term 3 this year looks very different for all of us and our Transition Program has been adjusted to work in with our current remote learning situation. Usually during Term 3, I would be out and about visiting all our feeder primary schools, meeting with both the Year 6 boys enrolled into Year 7 for 2021, and their Year 6 teachers. I am certainly missing these face to face interactions but I am enjoying getting to know our incoming boys in a new way.

Small group zoom meetings with boys and a parent have become the new norm and I have found out that we have lots of super sporty boys starting next year along with a number of maths and writing enthusiasts. On a slightly worrying note, I have discovered we have lots of Richmond supporters, which is something I think we need to review, given that’s not my AFL team?!

I have, and will continue to, meet with Year 6 teachers via different online platforms and have been amazed at the power of work they are doing with their Year 6 students. I am hearing of many schools running daily online morning teaching sessions and afternoon check in sessions, with lots of small group opportunities throughout the day. All this while these teachers manage their own families and circumstances and I am truly appreciative of their fantastic efforts.

To our Year 6 parents, thank you for your continued support of your sons through these challenging circumstances, and I encourage you to look for the positives in the unique relationship remote learning brings. Please know that moving into Year 7 we will be able to monitor and adjust our teaching and learning to ensure everyone is well catered for and successfully progresses.

I hope everyone stays home, says safe and I look forward to meeting the rest of our 2021 Year 7 boys throughout the term.


Tamara Keyes

Transition Coordinator

en English