National Recycle Week

November 26th, 2020

Whitefriars College celebrated National Recycle Week last week. The theme was Sustainable Food Movement and the students and staff were invited to a week of events to encourage them to consider their food habits and their impact on the environment.

Students began the week trying vegan sausages and egg free meringues on Meat Free Monday. Mrs Molloy replaced the eggs with chickpea brine. Who would have thought? Boys were suspicious and hesitant about trying these foods, but majority found them enjoyable. Would you introduce Meat Free Monday in your home? For every 500g beef patty, it takes the same amount of water as a 6-hour shower. Agriculture, land clearing and its by-products cause 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. If everyone introduced Meat Free Monday, there are several benefits to the planet and your health. Check out for more information and great meat free recipes.

Future Food Tuesday was a wonderful challenge to try a new food… crickets!! This popular event allowed students to sample a popular overseas protein dish. Crickets on their own, cricket savoury muffins, cricket pasta and cricket corn chips. Well done to the brave Mr Murphy and Mrs Hoinville and the students who hopped to the challenge and learnt about the Sustainable Food Movement. A big thank you to Mrs Ciavarella who purchased and prepared the food. Visit to delight your guests at your Covid-safe Christmas catch up.

Waste free Wednesday focused on reducing the lunchbox waste. Beeswax Wraps making workshop offered participants hands on skills to design and melt the beeswax onto the cloth for a sustainable cover. The Sustainability and Environment Team encourage all households to reduce single use plastics and really not to use cling wrap for school snacks and lunches.

Did you know Australian’s waste one in five shopping bags of food? This equates to 300kg of food per year per person and wastes $20 billion dollars to the Australian economy. It also produces 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. The College learnt bread, cheese, milk and bananas are the main items Aussie households throw out. Mrs Ciavarella and Mrs Molloy’s oatmeal and banana pikelets and frozen banana ice-cream was a hit and the ingredients used were products nearing their shelf life. Check out on how to reduce your food wastage.

Who would have thought we have a College of teetotallers? Bush Tucker Friday offered staff and students indigenous tea and bush tucker herb pita breads to highlight the sustainable food production and sustainable land care of Indigenous people. The strawberry gum, Gumbi Gumbi and Pepper berry tea was very popular for its flavour and medicinal benefits. To read about different bush tucker teas and products, visit

The Sustainability and Environment Team wish to acknowledge the mammoth efforts of the Food Tech staff, Mrs Ciavarella and Mrs Molloy on making the National Recycle Week events an opportunity of learning, trying new things and having fun in the process.


Ms Jo Menzies

Sustainability and Environment Team Facilitator




Monash University Scholars 2020

November 12th, 2020

Congratulations to Evan O’Connor, Jacob O’Brien and Benjamin Smith for being awarded the Whitefriars Monash Scholars for 2020. Monash Scholars is a prestigious program for high achieving secondary school students. The program is offered by Monash University to give high potential students a unique headstart into university life. It provides opportunities for personal and academic development, as well as, giving students the knowledge, skills and confidence to make the right study choices. It also enables them to expand their network of like-minded peers.

From the Principal – On holiness

November 11th, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

Recently in our Liturgical Calendar, 1 November to be exact, we celebrated the feast of all Saint. This is a day on which we celebrate the lives of all our loved ones who are now resting in the palm of Gods hand. The name saint not only refers to those who have been officially given the title by the Church but to anyone who has led a good and holy life. Pope Francis tells us that to be saints is not a privilege for the few but a vocation for everyone. He goes further to say that holiness is not only for those who spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living lives with love and bearing witness in everything we do.

When I first hear the word ‘holiness’, I think of the holy cards we used to get as children with images of halo covered saints looking up to heaven. These images are important, but to a little boy they made the idea of holiness look impossible to attain. Pope Benedict XVI tells me that Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to being again, and above all the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness. In simple terms, therefore to be ‘holy’ or ‘saintly’ means to strive to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have bared witness to many Whitefriars boys who have been engaged in holy pursuits, to become the best version of themselves. At our Year 12 farewell evening attended by our Year 12 students and their families via zoom we celebrated a group of young men who have overcome great adversity during this very challenging year. Young men who kept their eye on the ball and who focussed on the things they could control rather than those beyond their influence. We celebrated the efforts and achievements of all our young men, as well as recognising some individual students who had demonstrated extraordinary effort in achieving above and beyond expectations. Below you will find the citations for three of the most significant awards offered by the College to graduating students.

Last week, we further celebrated the gifts and talents of our senior students and our annual Visual Arts and Design Exhibition. I have been very fortunate this year to have observed the development of some of the great work which is on display at our exhibition. It has been inspiring to hear the boys speak about their work, to hear the stories behind it and the many difficulties and problems which they have encountered and solved along the way. It is often the story behind the work, which is as important and powerful as the work itself. This year’s story for our senior Studio Arts, Product Design, Media and Visual Communication students has been one of adversity, obstacle and set back. It has been one too of resilience, grit and triumph against the odds.

I would like to congratulate each of our Visual Arts students on the determination they have shown and the ‘never say die’ attitude that has seen them complete some of the most mature and skilled work I have seen under the most difficult of conditions.

This week, our Year 12 students commenced their final VCE examinations. I am sure you will join me in prayerful support for these young men as they apply all they have learnt throughout this extraordinary year to these tasks over the next couple of weeks.

To attain holiness does not rest solely in the achievement of great things, it is also about how we live in the day to day. It was St. Therese of Lisieux who I believe hit the mark about holiness when she said that we should do little things but do them with great love. Since the return of all our students and staff, I have seen small acts of kindness and generosity that demonstrate that many in community are well on the path to holiness, to becoming the best versions of themselves.



Principals Award

This is an occasional award, which may be presented to a Year 12 student who has achieved commendably in Year 12 in spite of some particular and special hardships, which he has had to contend with throughout the year.

There are not many people who can say that they will leave an impression on a school which will stand long after they have left. Only people who have truly inspired others, who have achieved great things, who have the respect and admiration of their peers, who have overcome challenges beyond anything we can fully appreciate can possibly achieve this lofty status.

There is definitely such a person among the class of 2020. That person is Ben Bugeja. Ben is not a man who is defined by his physical limitations, he transcends them. He has participated more fully in every aspect of school life than most. He is a constant presence in our midst, always doing all he can to support his community. St. Therese of Lisieux said that we should do little things but do them with great love. There is no doubt that Ben loves his school and he loves his mates. He has spent the past six years doing a million little things, motivated by a deep love for this College. Whether it be through his role as a great Leader of Mantua House or assisting Year 7s to feel safe and welcome, or being present at out of hours events or simply being there for a friend in need, Ben has done all these things with love. His House Leader Murray Prior describes him as being someone who stubbornly perseveres and who is his own harshest critic, always striving to be better than he was before. Ben has not only taken the road less travelled, he has carved out a new one. One which I know others will be inspired to follow.

Congratulations Ben on six years of effort and achievement here at Whitefriars. This school is all the better for having you here.


The Father Noel Kierce Award

This award is named for Father Noel Kierce, Educator, Principal, Chaplain and friend to all in the Whitefriars community. A man who was the exemplar and essence of the Carmelite spirit in our school for over 35 years. This award is presented to a student who, over his time at the College has demonstrated personal growth and maturity, embodied the Whitefriars Spirit of looking after one another, had a significant involvement in artistic or sporting pursuits, shown endeavour “above and beyond” in some capacity and been actively involved in the wider College community.

The recipient of this award has embodied these qualities and attributes. He has been a student who has engaged in many aspects of College life, excelling particularly on the sporting field where he has not only demonstrated great skill and endeavour, but has been an exemplar of sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field. This young man has also thrown himself into his studies with great energy and enthusiasm, achieving academic excellence and enrichment awards during his time at Whitefriars, along with academic half colours. He has also achieved a WOCA award in 2015, along with the Charlie Milesi award. This young man is a natural leader who enjoys the confidence of his peers and has held a number of important leadership roles in our College. In his endorsement, this young man’s House Leader said he lives out the Carmelite Charism in the way he carries himself at the College and in the broader community. He has consistently been a strong role model to students at all year levels and is admired and respected by all for his service to the College and his exceptional character. This year this young man took on a senior student leadership role with the same passion, generosity and positivity he has embraced all other aspects of school’s life. He has given of himself time and time again, without thought for his own needs, in particular attending a number night time zoom meetings with prospective families to provide to speak of his authentic and genuine love of Whitefriars College.

It is my great pleasure this evening to announce the recipient of the Father Noel Kierce award is Toby Brown.



Fr Frank Shortis Award

Fr Frank Shortis was Carmelite Priest who was the founder of our great school almost 60 years. Fr Shortis was a giant of education and a great Carmelite without whose courage and vision Whitefriars would not exist. This award goes to a student who, over his time at the College, has consistently embodied, exhibited and promoted the spirit and ethos of Whitefriars in his conduct and relationships – both within and beyond the College Community.

The recipient of this year’s award is a young man who, since arriving at Whitefriars has demonstrated a maturity beyond his years and has consistently embodied the ethos of the College in all that he does. When this young man speaks, everyone sits up and listens. This young man has a very strong moral compass which guides him through life and is closely aligned with our Carmelite ethos founded in contemplation, community and service. He goes about his business quietly forming relationship after relationship with peers and staff with a reputation for reliability, honesty and loyalty.

He has been a consistently strong supporter of his House and particularly his House charity both in the College and in the wider community. His House Leader describes him as a young man of conviction and integrity and most importantly, he is the epitome of the gentle man with the consistent ability to show genuine empathy towards others.

The list of awards and accolades this young man has achieved is too numerous to mention. Suffice to say, they have covered sport, academia, leadership and social justice over the full six years of his time at Whitefriars.

This is a man has led our College in 2020 with distinction, maturity and most of all a deep love of this school and his mates. It is my distinct pleasure to award the 2020 Fr Frank Shortis award to Alex Dunmill.

Visual Arts Exhibition

November 11th, 2020

The Whitefriars Visual Arts Exhibition is a highlight during any given year. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition is reverting to a virtual gallery. Despite the challenge of undertaking the practical elements within Media, Product Design Technology, Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design, the students have developed wonderful art pieces that will engage their audience. Thank you to Visual Arts Captain Andrea Sticca, Ms Georgia Madden (Visual Arts Learning Leader) and our amazing Visual Arts staff.

If you are yet to see it, please click below:




The exhibition has now been extended to 27 November 2020.

International Games Day 2020

November 11th, 2020

International Games Day was celebrated in the Library at lunchtime on Monday 9 November. Whitefriars students enjoyed being part of a global community of libraries that celebrated the social and educational benefits of games.

This year it was a little different, with masks, sanitising and physical distancing in place. However, this only heightened the joy of being able to play physical games with others at school again, on this special occasion.

The competition around our new Giant Connect 4 game was wonderful to see, with boys from across the year levels using a range of tactics and strategy against their opponents. Similar contests took place at the Chess, Rubik’s Race, Checkers, Backgammon and (normal sized) Connect 4 tables. The highlight for staff was witnessing the sportsmanship and encouragement of others in evidence throughout the library.

Hayden Menzies (Year 11), Haywood Cheng (Year 8) and Darcy Fenech (Year 11) were the lucky winners drawn from the door prize competition. They chose either a Where’s Wally? puzzle or a pack of UNO cards as their reward. All participants received a Matchstick Puzzles kit to take home with them. We hope they will enjoy challenging family members to help them solve these puzzles and they are invited to email Mrs Andison for the solutions.

Staff would like to thank each and every boy who attended for their positive participation and especially for ensuring that everyone had fun.


Mrs Cass Andison

Teacher Librarian


Roger Luo selected for G&T summer program

November 11th, 2020

The National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS) is held annually every year. This is a selective camp that caters for students from all over Australian who are in Year 11. It is a two-week ‘gifted and talented’ program designed for students who not only enjoy Mathematics but who are also very mathematically able.

Topics range from number theory through to chaos and topology. Selection for NMSS is based on MAV tests designed to find whether you can use what you know mathematically in creative ways to solve unfamiliar problems.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Roger Luo (Year 11) has been invited to participate in National Mathematics Summer School for 2021. Roger sat the selection test in August and was recently notified that he had been offered a place in the ‘gifted and talented’ program which is restricted to 75 students nationally. This is a wonderful achievement and due recognition for the work Roger has put into his mathematics at the college. It should be mentioned that Ms Liz Moloney, Roger’s Teacher, has been supporting and mentoring him throughout this process.

I wish Roger all the very best in the summer program. The summer school program runs from 13 to 20 January 2021.


From the Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

October 30th, 2020

Celebrating on-site learning

Over the past fortnight, staff have welcomed back our Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students. There was a sense of hope and optimism as students reconnected with one another and their teachers.

Learning in the classroom has focussed on opportunities for students to discuss issues, collaborate and share their viewpoints and undertake practical lessons. Application of theory learnt during the Home Learning Program is now being applied with practical classes occurring in Health and Physical Education, Drama, Music, Visual Arts and Science & Technologies.


Year 12s – Thank you, congratulations and good luck

Our Year 12s, whilst sharing moments of nostalgia and an opportunity to play ‘downball’ for their final week of school, have continued to show an unwavering commitment to their studies.

Preparations are underway for the final examinations, with teacher feedback being received by students from the VCE Trial Examination.  Practice questions and essays shared with teachers and collaborative discussions about learning is happening in class and the Academic Study Centre after school.

Meanwhile, our VCAL students are now actually having the chance to exhibit the applied learning pathway they choose some 12 months ago. Completion of VET studies, the practical component of their Public Safety Firefighting course and their final projects have been the focus during Term 4.

Congratulations to our Year 12 students for their commitment to their studies during the past 6 years. The College community wishes them all the best for their upcoming examinations and transition to further study or work.


Connection, Purpose and Performance Mindset – Ben Crowe

Old Collegian Ben Crowe, professional mentor and leadership coach who has helped the success of the Richmond Football Club and Ash Barty, recently spoke to our Year 12 students as part of preparations for their examinations. Year 12s, and all learners in our community, can use Ben’s strategies to connect, find purpose and develop a performance mindset:

  1. Connection


  1. Purpose


  1. Performance Mindset


ACC Chess

Congratulations to our Chess team, who throughout 2020 have represented the College in ACC, regional and most recently the State Championships. The effort to train to develop strategies and then execute these skills under competition has been outstanding. I congratulate Jayden Bardrick for his leadership and Mrs Rhonda Powling for facilitating the learning opportunity for the students.


Visual Arts Exhibition

The Whitefriars Visual Arts Exhibition is a highlight during any given year. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition is reverting to a virtual gallery. Students are having their art pieces curated in readiness for the exhibition that will be launched next Friday 6 November. Despite the challenge of undertaking the practical elements within Media, Product Design Technology, Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design, the students have developed wonderful art pieces that will engage their audience. Thank you to Visual Arts Captain Andrea Sticca, Ms Georgia Madden (Visual Arts Learning Leader) and our amazing Visual Arts staff.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

From the Principal – Restoring the balance

October 29th, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

It is with great excitement that I write to you this week as our Year 8, 9 and 10 students return following the longest absence of students from school in the history of education in this country.

It is moments such as this when it is good to take a breath, reflect and give thanks for all that our community has achieved through this extraordinary time. I am immensely proud of everyone in our Whitefriars family who has adapted to a situation, none of us could possibly have imagined, with such agility and flexibility. More than this, our community has behaved with grace, generosity and a willing sense of community knowing that it is our unity that will most successfully see us through this time.

There are times though, I must admit, where our present situation leads me to feelings of frustration and even dejectedness when I see the impact this pandemic has had on families and staff and on the wellbeing of our fine young men. It is easy in these moments for this frustration to boil over as we have seen in recent times. I think it’s because this present moment has caused us all to feel off-balance. Things just aren’t the way they should be.

The gospel reading for the Sunday on which I am writing this article (30th Sunday of Ordinary time) is a timely reminder to me about how I should approach the state of affairs in which we find ourselves. To restore the balance in my life, even if I can’t change the situation.

In this story from Matthew, Jesus is challenged by the leaders of the day to answer the question – which is the greatest of the commandments? Now of course these leaders had their own motivations for asking the question. In a sense they were attempting to throw Jesus off balance.

Jesus response is as simple as it is profound.

‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself.’

Through this simple phrase, Jesus restores the balance. Even more than this he provides us with a signpost as to how we should live our lives particularly in these most troubling of times. When in doubt, love. When all else fails, love. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.

I have witnessed great acts of love in our community over these many months of disruption. Seeing how our returning students have supported the COVID safe measures our College has put in place for the safety of all. Observing staff working harder than they have ever worked before to provide the best learning opportunities possible under these conditions. Reading emails of encouragement and gratitude from parents. These simple examples of love are among the many I have observed which have helped to restore the balance.

The latest Carmelite Communication puts it far better than I could…

Love of God and love of neighbour belong together as two parts of the same whole. It means that true faith, as Jesus teaches it, is about being in loving relationship with God and other human beings.
The Kingdom of God is not some far off place, but the moments when God’s life breaks into the human story usually through the good, healing, loving words and actions of human beings. Those moments bring love, wisdom, grace, compassion, generosity, forgiveness and peace into our lives.
That is who we are called to be and what we are called to do.

I couldn’t agree more!


Cultural Diversity week

I would like to thank Ms Kelly Hoinville for her work in presenting this year’s Cultural Diversity Day. The boys appreciated the various activities including the Kahoot and Cooking competition and the chance to dress up for the cultural free dress contest. Thanks Kelly for your innovative and creative approach under special circumstances.


State Chess Competition

Congratulations to our highly talented chess team who on Friday finished 9th in the State Chess Championships. Mr Ashley Payne told us that it was great to see so many new players getting tournament experience; this should bode well for future years. A wonderful finish to what has been a very successful season of chess this year.

Congratulations Ms Powling, Jayden (Chess Captain) and the chess team!


Mr Mark Murphy




College Captains 2021

October 29th, 2020

Student leadership holds a very special place in the fabric of Whitefriars College. We want our young men to work in partnership with us to continue to grow the culture of community, prayer and service. After an extensive process including a 5-week leadership formation, speeches to their cohort and interview, it is with great pleasure that I announce the College Captains for 2021.


College Captain

Charlie Schroder

“I feel an immense sense of privilege and honour in being elected for the position of 2021 college captain, and I am excited to act in my full capacity as a leader in the community; and to see what next year may bring.”

College Vice-Captain

Baxter House

“I am ecstatic and honoured to take on this role alongside Charlie and Alex, and I am looking forward to the year ahead for the Whitefriars’ students and staff to be able to unite in person and focus on fostering a collective community.”

College Vice-Captain

Alexander Pisotek

“I look forward to building on the success of the previous captains and the opportunity to dedicate my service to a school and community I love to be a part of.”

Throughout the student leadership process, each of these young men spoke about giving back to their school which has given them so much. Their passion and commitment to their school is of the highest order and I have no doubt that they will make Whitefriars an even greater place of learning, faith and service.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students

Intermediate VCAL Antrick Course

October 29th, 2020

The Intermediate VCAL group have been completing the Certificate II in Health Support Services since the beginning of Term 2. While learning strictly online had its ups and downs, the boys can all confidently say that they have successfully covered all aspects of the course. On three days during October, the Antrick provider, Dimity, was finally able to attend school and begin the hands-on sessions. This allowed the boys to practically learn infection control, manual handling of patients and providing first aid. They all got to partake in a range of applied activities, everything from how to effectively wash their hands, put on the correct clothes to stay free from germs, how to care for fallen elderly people, checking their own blood sugars, and much more.

This information and knowledge were not only interesting, but will also prove useful in their present, and future day-to-day life. Thank you to Dimity from Antrick for her easy-to-understand lessons both on, and offline. Thanks also to the Mr Rennie and Ms Haddrell in particular who have kept everyone on track and motivated, especially during the home learning program.

On behalf of the Year 11 VCAL Class, we would like to give a great big thank you for educating us with this course, and may we all hope we never have to use it!


Written by Intermediate VCAL students Christian Maaraoui and Darcy Fenech

Whitefriars Staff Garden Group and Meat Free Monday

October 29th, 2020

The WSGG were treated to a pack of home-grown seeds and jiffy pots to try their hand at propagation last week. Different types of propagation were shared and gardening issues were discussed during a Q&A. Thank you to Roger Luo (Year 11) who has brought in some worm “wee” fertiliser from his worm farm and lemons to share with staff. Maria Ciavarella hosts the next workshop, “Pest in the Garden” – Plant Health on Thursday 5 November. Any parents wanting to join the discussion are welcome to join in. Email for more information.


Meat Free Monday

Thank you to Mrs Vollebergh and Mrs Molloy for sharing great meat-free recipes with staff to try on Meat Free Monday. The Sustainability and Environment Team encourage all families to increase their plant-based meals during the week. The College supports the sustainable food movement where reducing food miles, minimal packaging is used, seasonal food bought, sustainable farming practices are noticed and supporting local produces is encouraged so our carbon footprint is reduced. Are you up for the challenge of Meat Free Monday?

Science, Technology and Environment at Whitefriars Club (STEW)

October 29th, 2020

The Science, Technology and Environment at Whitefriars Club continued the Waterbug Blitz activity during lunchtime. Mr Murphy dropped in and it was a great chance to acknowledge the 2020 Science and Technology Captains, Daniel Borg and Ben Clarke for all their amazing captain work during 2020. The boys contributed to the weekly STEW club, held interviews, contributed to subject selection processes and were reliable for any requested assistance. Even during lockdown, Ben and Daniel were active in online STEW club and Science Week and were able to inspire and encourage students to follow their passion for science. The Science and Technology learning area staff wish the boys all the best for the upcoming exams and future endeavours.


Thank you, Max Tyler and Tom Fazackerley

Congratulations to Max and Tom for their 2020 Environment Captains efforts. Max and Tom contributed to many SET activities throughout the year. Max and Tom were instrumental in getting the Year 11 cohort in 2019 onboard to lobby for a solar compost bin in the College grounds for students use. Good luck gentlemen for the rest of the year and all your future endeavours.


en English