From the Principal – Servant Leadership

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

Why do people aspire to leadership? What attracts them, drives them, provokes them to want to take on these types of roles? Some might suggest that money, power and prestige are the motivational forces behind people’s desire to lead. Leaders like these generally don’t last very long and if they do they will often be disappointed and never be truly satisfied in their role.

I believe the great leaders, the ones who leave the most lasting impact and ones who are happiest and most satisfied in their role, are ones who take on this challenge for different reasons. They are generally people who wish to put the needs of others before their own, who wish to make a positive difference in the world. These are people who love helping other people to grow and achieve their full potential. They are people who take us on worthwhile journeys to exciting destinations. They are people who walk with us, rather than in front of us, and people who understand the Two Ears One Mouth Principle of listening twice as much as they speak. Most of all, they are people who clearly understand the concept of servant leadership.

Servant leaders are people who take the traditional top-down leadership model and turn it upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people at the very top and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving all their community. This model brings with it a great sense of meaning and purpose. Leaders possess a serve-first mindset, and they are focused on empowering and uplifting others in their community. They are serving instead of commanding, showing humility instead of brandishing authority, and always looking to enhance the development of their communities in ways that unlock potential, creativity and sense of purpose.

Why do I speak of leadership in these terms? Because last week I was privileged to spend some time at the Amberly Retreat Centre with a group of Year 11 students who are discerning and reflecting on their roles as future servant leaders of Whitefriars College. A few months ago this same group of 64 young men made a decision to involve themselves in a leadership development program led by our Deputy Principal of Faith and Mission, Joshua Vujcich, and supported by our Student Empowerment Leader, Kelly Hoinville. It is one thing to give a boy a badge and tell him to lead, it is another altogether to provide him with an opportunity to provide the time, space and expertise for these future leaders to discern, discuss and discover their own way of leading within the context of Whitefriars College. A context steeped in our Catholic Carmelite tradition where a contemplative, community-minded and service-driven approach is at the heart of who we and how we act.

I am extremely proud of this group of young men who have displayed great courage, generosity and selflessness in presenting themselves in this leadership space purely out of a desire to support their community. I look forward to observing their progress as they lead in the way of Jesus, Mary and Elijah for the benefit of all at Whitefriars.


Whitefriars is a vibrant and dynamic place. Here are some examples of the variety of activities which have taken place in our school over the past two weeks along with the people who supported them

  • Valuable feedback provided by our dedicated staff to students and parents through the SPT process.
  • Our Year 10 students involved in Ballroom Dancing Classes with the students from Our Lady of Sion College.
  • Whitefriars boys Ethan Brearley and Lachie Melnyk who performed at last week’s opening night of CLC’s production of Legally Blonde.
  • Continuation of our Term 3 sports program both in House and as part of the ACC competition.
  • Our senior student leaders supported by Kelly Hoinville who hosted our staff/student Trivia Night last week.
  • Our Year 9 and 10 Course Advice days.
  • The Read a Million Words House Challenge which concluded on Wednesday 24 August after 4 months.
  • Corsini House for their support of the Corsini House feast day mass and lunch supported by Tom Sykes, Josh Vujcich and Fr Paul along with the pastoral staff.
  • Maths and Science week led by Will Wood and Paul Garriga, and all the Maths and Science staff and student leaders who supported all the wonderful activities and events associated with this event. I know the boys greatly enjoyed the educational and fun activities presented throughout the week.
  • Rosie Street Mission outreach initiative led by Josh Chia and the boys and staff who attended last Wednesday night.
  • Winter showcase event led by Matt Frampton and all the Performing Arts staff who supported our talented boys on the night.
  • Year 12 parent and student information evening supported by Claire Allemand.

Just to name a few!


Mr Mark Murphy