Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

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

The Resilience Project wrap up

August 5th, 2020

See Mr Height and Ben’s take on our visit from The Resilience Project.

Year 9 illuminate: NextGen Challenge

August 5th, 2020

This week, Whitefriars has entered two teams of entrepreneurial students from Year 9 into a week long online Challenge to create and showcase their own business ideas.

The two teams include the following students:

Team 1

Team 2 

The Whitefriars Teams have entered the Challenge along with up to 100 other students from Victorian and Tasmanian schools.

Not only are students given an opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial skills, but they also learnt useful skills around:

If you are interested in seeing how the Teams go, join the livestream awards ceremony on Illuminate’s Facebook page @illuminateeduau

Good luck to these two teams!


Ms Lauren Cape

Learning Leader – Commerce

Support our students: JLJ Podcast

August 5th, 2020

JLJ Podcast was established on 16 May 2020 by three Year 12 students. The name, ‘JLJ’, comes from a combination our first-names, and our channel can be found on YouTube at “JLJ Podcast”. During our hour-long, family-friendly podcast, we have a conversation about sport related topics such as the AFL, Premier League and A-League. We also love to involve all of our friends as guests. We regularly respond to questions, feedback and other talking points raised in the media and surrounding platforms.

Why did we start the podcast?

During the lockdown, due to Covid-19, we began to have heated debates and discussions about various sports within our friendship group. It was at this moment we decided to start our podcast, to simply discuss our love of sport. We thought “why not create a podcast to showcase some of the passionate debates?”. We decided to turn our idea into reality when we recorded our first online podcast to be uploaded to our YouTube channel, “JLJ Podcast”.

The future of the JLJ Podcast

Our first ever celebrity guest was AFL player, Dan Butler. On 25 June, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview the current St Kilda player and 2017 Richmond Premiership player. We discussed his journey to the AFL, the AFL itself and we prepared questions for him to gain an insight to daily life as an AFL player.

This experience was very exciting for us. We are very grateful to Dan for coming onto our podcast. We are also currently in discussion with other professional athletes from various sports to hopefully broaden our knowledge of the sports industry, and give our listeners an insight in to the life of other professional athletes. We hope to expand our brand into a podcast that the mainstream media pays attention to and is recognised by the AFL.

By Jackson Emery, Josh Vankuyk and Lachie Mathewson

National Tree Planting Day

August 5th, 2020

Last Friday, students were encouraged to pause and take a look at a tree in their garden or within the grounds in honour of National Tree Planting Day. Trees provide us with oxygen, improve soil quality, capture carbon dioxide, help us save on our energy bills, capture rainwater, improve mental health, create jobs, increase business, provide habitats to fauna and just look fantastic!

The Sustainability and Environment Team appreciated the efforts of students and staff on last Friday’s National Tree Planting Day. Thank you Max and Tom for rallying the College Captains and staff to commit to this important annual event. Thank you to Mr Murphy, Mr Vujcich and Mr Lafferty for taking time out of their day to model sustainable action and support Max and Tom’s passion. Thank you to Mr Berryman for the footage and finally, a big thank you to Mr Firmin who was able to organise and instruct the planting activity.

The Sustainability and Environment Team, invites you to send a photo of your favourite tree or an interesting tree you have visited on travels. Has it been weird, huge, majestic, a great climbing tree or culturally significant or home to an exotic animal?

One of my favourite trees is Victoria’s largest tree, the Ada Tree in Warburton? Incredible and only up the road! When you can travel, it’s worth a visit.

Send your tree photos to

From the Principal – ‘Big game players’

June 19th, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars family,

It is wonderful having all the young men of Whitefriars back among us. Finally, our community feels complete and life is returning to some level of normality, albeit with new restrictions, processes and protocols to keep all in our community safe. I have spent a lot of time among the young men of our College, over the past few days and there is a general sense of excitement about being back at school. Most tell me though, they miss getting up a bit later as well as having the fridge and the pantry close by during the day!

On Friday, we staged our first ever “virtual” assembly during pastoral care. Our students and staff watched the assembly from the comfort of their pastoral rooms via webinar. The assembly was beautifully and expertly led by our Senior Leaders and concluded with a video created by Trent Collins (Director – Middle Years), which provided a visual timeline of the experiences of our students during the Home Learning Program. The backing track to the video was provided by one of our talented music students, Joshua Hannan. I would like to thank Mick Lafferty (Deputy Principal – Students) and our College Leaders for their thoughtful leadership of this important gathering of our community.

At the assembly, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to our staff and students about my reflections on this strange and challenging time. The following is an extract from my presentation.

The question I am hearing most as we re-enter life at school is… what did you miss? I think the answer is pretty easy for most of us. We miss people. We miss our mates, our colleagues, our teachers and other staff who support us each day. I think though, the more important question to ask and answer at this time is… what did you gain? I asked this very question of a group of Year 7 boys I met the other day. One of these young men provided me with a very inspiring response. He said that he had gained a level of maturity and independence that he had not had before. Even though he had great support around him from teachers, classmates and parents, still he needed to stand on his own two feet like never before. He had to become a problem solver, a critical thinker, he had to organise himself without having someone constantly looking over his shoulder. Basically, he said, he had to grow up fast!

As people of the Carmelite tradition we are naturally reflective, contemplative souls. I want you all to take a moment to reflect now on what you have gained or learnt through this time. Because you see if we didn’t learn something and if we don’t take what we have gained and nurture it and grow it and take it into the future, then we have lost a valuable opportunity. People will often rise to a challenge and do remarkable things in moments of great difficulty, tragedy, challenge or crisis. Sporting commentators would call these people, “big game players”. The trick is then to continue to present that way in the ordinary, mundane routine days of our lives. That’s real growth, sustainable growth.

 I have witnessed moments of adaptability, patience, kindness, community, courage and solidarity over the last couple of months. These are the qualities of the “gentle man” that we hear about here, that we aspire to here. Don’t let that go. Don’t slip back into old ways. Show the grit, maturity and determination that I have witnessed and heard about during this time. Let us all move forward in a new way with a gentle and compassionate heart, a strong mind and a faithful soul as we take our great school forward to new and exciting places. Mostly, as young Carmelite men, reach out in service to those in greatest need in our community everyday as Mary would, as a caring loving mother would – Almae In Fide Parentis.

So, my question to all of us is… what have we gained and learnt. It could be as simple as becoming a more competent user of IT. It may be as life changing as adopting a new rhythm of life. Personally, this time has helped me to reflect on and take stock of all the wonderful blessings in my life and how I have often taken them for granted. I have become a more grateful person during this time. I pray that I will not allow this feeling to dissipate, to get lost in the milieu of the everyday. Whatever we have gained or learnt lets all try to hang onto it, nurture it and grow it, not just for our benefit but for the benefit of all in our community.


Mr Mark Murphy


Reading and book news

June 19th, 2020

Read a Million Words House Challenge

Students have been adding ‘words’ enthusiastically to their reading logs for the Read a Million Words House Challenge. The Read a Million has been running since 28 March and finishes on 5 August. Thank you to the parents who have encouraged and supported their sons to read widely for the challenge, especially during the Home Learning Program. Students embraced the Shortis Library’s eBook collection once they ran out of print books to read. Congratulations to the following students who earned bonus points for their house by writing book reviews, now published on the Library Blog:

Keegan Lim, Year 7 Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

Noah Mendez, Year 7 Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Zander Downie, Year 7  The invaders by John Flanagan

Minh Nguyen, Year 12 A Twisted Tale: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell and Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley


Book Club

Book Club continued online during the Home Learning Program with Mrs Cass Andison taking the Year 7 and 8 students through the first book of the Tomorrow, When the War Began series (John Marsden). With the release of the new book in the Hunger Games series, Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Suzanne Collins), a very special book club event was held, an online Hunger Games Kahoot. Books and other prizes were awarded – congratulations to the following students:

James Dorrat-Sims, Year 7 – 1st

James Fennell, Year 8 – 2nd

Thomas Kelly, Year 7 – 3rd


Honourable mentions and other prize winners:

Hayden Rujak, Year 8

Samuel Ng, Year 8

Elian Deeb, Year 7

Julian Pruscino, Year 7

Hayden’s Helping Hands nominated for awards

June 19th, 2020

Hayden Rujak (Year 8) and his sister, Stephanie, were nominated in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards for the work they do to create change through their charity Hayden’s Helping Hands and have now been selected as finalists in the category of ‘The Bridge Create Change Award’.

The Bridge Create Change Award recognises young people that are driving activities, programs and initiatives that promote or create change. Their selection as finalists, reflects the work they do, to support people experiencing homelessness, to enable other youth to volunteer and make a difference, and to raise awareness of the needs of the homeless via visiting local kindergartens and schools and presenting. Hayden and Stephanie locally have created a ripple effect among young people through outreaches every weekend since the beginning of 2015, fundraising and goods gathering. That effort has resulted in over $100,000 of relief provided up until June last year and significant more since that time.

COVID-19 has seen the need for their support service grow. In addition to supporting the homeless, Hayden’s Helping Hands has also been called on to support struggling families in the north/north eastern suburbs with food hampers, toiletries and food vouchers worth over $14,000 since COVID isolation began. But it has not been easy, with COVID transmission concerns meaning Hayden, Stephanie and their core team shouldering much of the load with both volunteering and fundraising activities on hold.

So, they now need our help. One opportunity they have to fundraise has been presented to them from the Young Achiever Award ‘People’s Choice Award’. The Finalist, who receives the most votes in this award, will receive a voucher for a 2-night luxury midweek stay at the Linden Gardens Rainforest Retreat in the heart of Mount Dandenong. If they are lucky enough to win, the prize will be auctioned as a fundraiser to help provide more relief for those who need it. You can vote once a day, every day between now and the awards in September – at

Of course, there are many other ways as well that you can support them. To find out more have a chat to Hayden or visit his website or Facebook page. ( )

What a wonderful example of care, compassion and servant leadership – congratulations Hayden and Stephanie.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students

World Environment Day

June 19th, 2020

World Environment Day was celebrated by the College by participating in the Sustainability and Environment Team’s invitation to “Take a Plant, Leave a Pledge” activity. A variety of wattles including Juniper, Spreading and Myrtle wattles were taken by staff and students in return for a sustainability pledge. Below are examples of the pledges made.

I pledge to…

Grow as many trees as possible, plant natives, continue recycling, problem solve compost issues, make a veggie garden, blow bubbles – not balloons, respect mother earth, recycle soft plastics, support Whitefriars sustainability actions, collect rubbish in the College grounds, waste less food, re-use building material and limit household waste to landfill, eat less meat, don’t buy plastic bottles, use less Palm Oil, use public transport more consistently and reduce my carbon footprint.

The wattles were sourced from the local Friends of Warrandyte State Park Nursery (FOWSP). This group, mainly run by volunteers, gathers local indigenous and native seeds and propagates them at the nursery. The nursery is open to the public, but please check their website for details as restrictions are in place A big thank you to Tom W (7) and James D-S (7) who planted the unclaimed wattles in the bus turning circle garden last week.

International Compost Awareness Week was acknowledged during the Covid-19 home learning program. The Sustainability and Environment Team sent out a daily compost quiz.  Staff and students who answered the quiz correctly each day, collected their prizes this week. Congratulations to Mr Wood, Jordan H (8), Mr Murphy, Lukas M (8), Mrs Ciavarella, Roger L (11) and Mrs Kelly.

Welcome back

June 7th, 2020

As we welcome back our Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students, it is important to reflect on the lessons we have learnt during this difficult time. The first is the importance of community. There is a famous American TV series whose theme song captures this sentiment: ‘Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.’ Schools are places where people have a sense of belonging, of comfort and of support. Whitefriars College is such a place. The second lesson is resilience. During difficult times, our character is tested I have experienced countless examples where staff, parents and students have risen above these challenges and adapted to the difficulties that isolation has presented – staff going above and beyond to ensure their students continue to learn, students having developed self-discipline and independence which they have had to draw upon like never before and as a parent of school-age children myself, I know that parents have made significant sacrifices to ensure their children have been able to stay engaged and remain positive in the face unprecedented darkness.

For our community, returning to school does not cancel out the challenges that our world is experiencing. Rather, it provides an environment of safety, comfort and most importantly, care. We will continue to educate our young men to be life-long learners and gentle men.  We will be there for them when times are tough and we will walk together through the storms and the sunshine.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students


Happy World Environment Day!

June 7th, 2020

World Environment Day celebrates its 20th Anniversary on 5 June 2020. It is a day that reminds us to take-action to conserve and protect our natural environment. This year’s theme is “Biodiversity” which encompasses life on land and below the water. It affects every aspect of human health; oxygen to breathe, water to drink, food for nutrients and medicines, shelter, mental health and wellbeing and climate change regulation.

The delicate balance of nature is being affected by decades of land clearing, air and water pollution, increased greenhouse gas emissions, reliance on plastics and unstainable energy sources and the results are devastating. Human action has changed 75% of land environments, 65% of water environments, one million species risk of extinction, increased rates of disease and food insecurity.

Human health relies on environment health.

Whitefriars College is blessed to be located in the Mullum Mullum Valley native bushland and creek setting where rich biodiversity is evident. The students are educated about the environment across learning areas and monitoring programs, improved waste operations, environment event celebrations and a review of water and energy College resources are actions that the Sustainability and Environment Team are proud of.

But there still much more to be done.

Covid-19 restrictions offered many families a time to reflect on sustainable habits, needs and priorities. The environment benefited from the world pausing. The Sustainability and Environment Team and Environment Captains ask the College community to bring renewed environment commitment as they return to the College. Simple actions such as packing a rubbish free lunch, using the bins system properly, saving energy by turning off lights and heaters when exiting the classroom and protecting the College gardens by using paths shows a strong commitment to the environment.

The environment needs you, and you need the environment. Please watch:

Happy World Environment Day!


Here are some photos of the College in ‘Sustainable’ Action:

Chess club online success!

June 7th, 2020

Two Chess Tournaments in the one week.

Playing tournaments online has some advantages for the members of our WFC Chess club.

The online platform has meant that we have been able to play against schools, not only from throughout Victoria, but interstate as well. This is a real opportunity for us because, under normal circumstances, only the top teams from each state get to do this. It has been a great experience to play against new people, learning new skills and moves along the way.

On Monday 25 May, four of the team (including myself) went online for the Ballarat Interschool Tournament, our second Online Interschool Chess event.

After the first competition, we were all used to the online system, but technical difficulties unexpectedly pushed the start back an hour. That didn’t stop us though, as we worked together to make sure we were ready for when things started moving.

After a quick introduction and reminder of the way the day would go – we played 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, helped by the fact that there were only 24 people participating.

Going into the last round, we were a point or two behind the leaders. The winning team would earn spots in the State finals later in the year. With two wins and one loss going in to the last round, our last teammate sat with scores tied – ready for one player to take the win and his team to State. Unfortunately, we lost, finishing second behind St Patrick’s College (Ballarat).


On Friday 29 May, four Year 9 students took part in another tournament, the Hobart (Interschool) Tournament, against seven schools from Tasmania and four from Victoria. The boys did a good job against some tough opposition, with Alex Boscariol coming out as our top player. This was another great chess tournament to take part in and learn from.

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 multiple ACC competitions. Websites such as and are available 24/7 for you to play against other people or challenge your friends to help you improve your skills.

Jayden Bardrick, Chess Captain

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