Glimmers of light and hope

Dear member of the Whitefriars College family,

In these times it is good to seek out any glimmer of light and hope. At Whitefriars engaging in this activity yields a wealth of examples. Examples of generosity, of creativity and a deep care for one another abound in normal times. During our Home Learning Program our students, parents and staff have taken this idea to a new level.

The staff of Whitefriars have been very encouraged and assured through the positive and supportive feedback they have received from parents both via email and through our recent Student Parent Teacher Conferences. I am very grateful to those parents who have taken the time to write to staff and to provide them with words of praise and reassurance, who have shown empathy and understanding that doing the job they do has become increasing difficult in this remote context.

Our staff have been incredibly creative and innovative in developing new and engaging ways of presenting learning and have been trying in small ways to replicate the feeling of community and fun that our boys experience at school. For example, over the past few weeks our community has immersed themselves in several special weeks.


Science Week

A couple of weeks ago we hosted Science Week where our Science Learning Area teachers (led by Learning Leader, Daniella Carboon) provided us with a week of fun and engaging activities around the theme “Food – different by design”. Our students and staff learnt about edible insects, vegan foods, Bush Tucker/Indigenous foods!


Book Week

Following on from Science Week our very imaginative Library Team (led by Jenny Corbin, Library Leader) presented our annual Book Week celebrations. The theme of this years Book Week was Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds. Our boys had a great time engaging in drawing magical creatures, scavenger hunts and recreating their favourite scene from a book using Lego. The highlight of Book Week was the announcement of the staff, student, and House winners of the Read a Million Words Challenge. I would like to congratulate the following boys who read more books during this challenge than most of us would in a year or two or three!

Overall Student Winner

1st Dathen Senviratne Yr 9 5,116,716 Soreth
2nd Julian Pruscino Yr 8 4,840,834 Trinity
3rd Hayden Stephens Yr 7 3,587,981 Avila

Overall Combined Students and Staff

1st Avila 15,870,401
2nd Stein 12,801,124
3rd Lisieux 11,366,129

 Overall Students

1st Avila 11,592,620
2nd Soreth 10,142,816
3rd Mantua 8,396,281



Physical Education and Health Week

This week our Physical Education and Health staff led by Katherine Smith and HPE Captain Henry Ameer presented Health and Physical Education week. We were all treated to a variety of fun and interesting activities focussing on the theme of Friars Olympics. These included, a daily quiz, a Strava Art competition, replicating our own Olympic Events and recording a commentary of our favourite Tokyo moment.


Whitefriars Community Trivia Night

Recently, I was approached by some of our Senior Student Leaders who, supported by our Deputy Principal, Mick Lafferty, wished to bring a sense of the Whitefriars Community into our homes by hosting a Trivia Night for our families. What thoughtful and innovative young men we have in our school! The night was highly successful with over 140 families and staff in attendance. Our Senior Leaders, Charlie Schroder (College Captain), Edward Levi (House Captain) and Baxter House (Vice-Captain) were our hosts for the evening and kept us thoroughly entertained; so much so that I think most of us forgot all about the difficulties we are living with at this time.

In fact, each of these events and opportunities brought a good deal of light and joy into our weary lives. What a blessing for all those who participated.


Student Parent Teacher Conferences

I am grateful to you all for the way you have embraced our Student Parent Teacher conferences which were held a couple of weeks ago. I am grateful also to our staff who gave of their time, energy, and their deep understanding of our young men to provide parents and the boys themselves clarity about where they were at, celebrating their successes and providing advice and signposts about where they could be if the applied themselves even more to the task at hand.

On the back of these evenings many staff supported our young men and their parents as they discerned their future pathways during Year 11 course advice week. It was encouraging to hear stories of collaboration and cooperation between student, parent and teacher engaged in dialogue about this most important of decision-making processes.


Prospective Parent Information Evenings

Finally, in the last couple of weeks several us have been meeting online with parents of primary school students who are discerning the next steps in their educational life. It has been very difficult for these parents to make clear, decisive decisions when they are not able to come on tour at the College to gain that all important heart & gut feeling about which secondary school, they should send their son to. Thank God for people like Natasha Alexander (College Development and Enrolment Coordinator), teachers like Samantha Riddle (Learning Leader – Mathematics), House Leaders, Jeremy Freeman and Taryn Bates, and the star of the show Maximillion Ceppi, Middle Years Captain, who met with these prospective parents and spoke with passion and deep affection for our great school. Even during lockdowns and Home Learning there is much to celebrate at Whitefriars!


La Trobe Aspire Program

I would like to offer my congratulations to the following students who have received an Aspire early offer from La Trobe University.


First Name Results Course Name
Baxter House Offer Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics
Benjamin Costello Offer Bachelor of Criminology
Dominic Bucknell Offer Bachelor of Computer Science
Hayden Menzies Offer Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)
James Newman Offer Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Psychological Science
Luke Carletti Offer Bachelor of Media and Communication)
Roger Luo Offer Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Industrial)


Monash Scholars Program

The following students from Whitefriars College have been offered a place in the Monash Scholars Class of 2021–2023.

  • Jacob Barrett
  • Johnny Papadopoulos
  • Amin Yekta

This prestigious program for high achieving students will give these boys a unique head start into university life.


Vale Robert Agostino (Class of 2015).

It is with much sadness that I inform you of the recent death of Robert Agostino (Class of 2015). Robert, who was working as a Carpenter, died as a result of injuries received in a workplace accident.

Today we pray for and remember Robert and his family, his mother Emma, father Samuel and brothers Luke (2012) and Frank (2017) and his sister Stephanie, along with his friends and all at Whitefriars who knew or were connected to Robert in different ways.

This news will come as a shock to all in our community and I am particularly concerned for those in our community who knew Robert well. In this time of isolation from each other it is important to reach out if you need support.


Eternal Rest grant to Robert O Lord

And may perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed

through the love of God

rest in peace