Welcome back to Term Two. While the term began with a shortened school week, courtesy of Easter Monday and ANZAC Day, it has already been a very busy start to the term for our College community. The Year 9 OLP information evening, a Year 7 Easter egg challenge and the Mantua House Feast Day all figured in the first week’s activities.

The College marked the occasion of ANZAC Day with a most respectful commemoration on Wednesday 24 April. Robbie Dawson (Class of 2018) kindly volunteered to perform the Last Post and James Key (Year 11), who was a participant on the College’s 2018 ‘Battlefields Tour’ spoke of his experience on the Tour in the context of his historical family connections. Students from the Whitefriars Ensemble Program also performed for the Templestowe RSL at their Shrine of Remembrance on ANZAC Day.

The group of 8 Year 9 boys and support staff who attended the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program returned to Melbourne last week after 2 weeks in Chengdu (home of the Giant Pandas) and 4 weeks in cosmopolitan Shanghai. This is the third year that Whitefriars has been involved in this immersion program that enables each participant to experience international travel with his peers, lots of local school and study time, interesting cultural activities and excursions. Thank you to Mr Thio, Mrs Haddrell and Ms Luo for their generous support of the boys throughout a wonderful, but intensive educational experience.

Our annual Mother’s Day breakfast was held in the Science and Technology Centre this morning. Thank you to all of our enthusiastic mums who were able to enjoy a special meal with their sons before being addressed by Old Collegian and eminent psychologist, Professor Eoin Killackey, Associate Director of Graduate Research and Education at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

All is approaching readiness for the Year 9 OLP program beginning on Monday 6 May in country Victoria at various locations. The program and associated learning activities are always challenging – but equally rewarding. We look forward to hearing of the boy’s experiences upon their return.

The Middle Years Parent/Student/Teacher conferences took place on Wednesday afternoon and evening. These enabled important discussions to take place around each boy’s learning progress, to review approaches to learning, study habits, organisation and most importantly, to focus on sustained growth and improvement.

The last of the 16 Year 12 pastoral care lunches took place this week. These were an invitational opportunity for the boys to meet with me and their Pastoral Care teachers, House Leaders and Senior Years Director for some conversation around how they have settled into the year, any questions they might like to ask and what their career aspirations are. These Year 12s have shown themselves to be a very friendly, engaging and indeed impressive group of young men and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know each of them a little better.

Greg Stewart
In the care of a loving mother

en English