Welcome to third term. Our young men seem to have returned fresh and enthusiastic for the challenges ahead.
At the end of last term, a group of thirty-five boys and five staff journeyed to Darwin and the Tiwi Islands as part of an indigenous immersion program. This group had the opportunity to partake in life in Northern Australia in a way that many others are not able to experience. The College is grateful to Jason Jones (father of Kaiya in Year 10) who arranged this trip in liaison with our staff. The boys met Senior Australian of the year,
Sr. Anne, on the Tiwi islands, stayed at the Michael Long Centre in Darwin, journeyed to Kakadu and played football against the Northern Territory under 16 side. A number of inspirational speakers who tried to impart their stories of The Dreamtime, family life and the Stolen Generation complemented those journeys. Quite a set of memories!
I had the opportunity to meet with the group last week and was very taken by their own reflections and sense of gratitude. This life experience will remain with the boys and staff forever. It also gives the College further opportunity to explore the ways in which we are able to educate our Community on Indigenous culture in a non-tokenistic and meaningful manner. We are currently exploring further ways to do so.
The Year 9 cohort were in the City during the final week of last term. This gave them the chance to see our City in a different context. We take for granted that our boys are well travelled in that area. However, many Whitefriars boys know the Eastern suburbs roads far better than Melbourne laneways. This exploration of the City precinct proved valuable in understanding the place of law, finance, business, sport and tourism. Our boys were excellent ambassadors whilst journeying around.
Two Whitefriars staff were in Timor-Leste over the holiday break. They went there to teach young Carmelites who are in training at Hera, just near Dili. Mr Vujcich and Ms Matthews worked with these brothers in Philosophy, English and Information Technology. Their generous efforts were much appreciated by the Timorese.
The third and final Kairos retreat has just concluded. This Year 11 program had been a strong feature of College life for a number of years. Despite longevity, the impact on individual boys does not diminish. Kairos means, “In God’s Time”. The belief that there is a reflective way forward for all of us is an essential component. Young men thinking about and expressing their spirituality is a powerful reminder of the inherent goodness and optimism of youth. Well done to our Year 11s who entered so wholeheartedly into Kairos.
Br Matthew Tonini is a Carmelite in training who has been a regular staff member each Friday of this year. He has now left the College to pursue further ministry placements as part of his broad education. We thank Br Matthew for his efforts and look forward to maintaining our contact into the future.
We have now concluded Visual Arts week. This highlights the talents and skills of students. Whilst never blessed with any talent in that area myself, I am full of admiration for our young men who are so dedicated and refined in their work. We look forward to the exhibition early next term.
Fr Paul Sireh was the celebrant for our Mother and Son Mass on Monday. It was lovely to see a near full College Chapel. The focus was on the role of women and mother’s in the life of the boys and young men present. There were a number of past mums present who were accompanied by their sons, who are now in their twenties and thirties. Thank you to Mrs Marie Cameron, Mrs Nola Murphy and Mr John Abrahams for the organisation of the Mass and function.
Our Year 10 boys are now working with their families and staff to make decisions on pathways for next year and beyond. This is an important and exciting time in the life of the boys as they make discerned choices about subject areas that will be of most interest and benefit to them. The Course Advise day is to take place shortly.
Guys and Dolls opened on Wednesday in the College Theatre. It is a four-night run, which has been sold-out. It is a fabulously entertaining show where the Whitefriars boys and Siena girls perform with great gusto and expertise. Congratulations to the cast and crew and to our teaching staff, who have so completely immersed themselves in the experience to benefit the performers and technicians.
A reminder that Presentation Evening take place on Monday 13 November at Hamer Hall. All students in Years 7-11 should attend. The night will be a wonderful celebration of our year.
The Whitefriars Community passes on its sincere condolences to staff member, Mr Greg Stewart, his wife Eva and their two children, Nick and Jessica on the passing of their daughter and sister, Jemma. May the Lord embrace the Stewart family with His love and great care.
We also think of the Corda family at this time. Mr Greg Corda, husband to Lina and father to Marcus (Year 12), Luke (Year 9) and Julia, passed away recently. May God’s perpetual light shine upon him.
Almae In Fide Parentis