STEW Club – Fingerprinting

May 28th, 2021

On Wednesday 12 May, the STEW club met again, this time putting on our forensic gloves to investigate some of the different technique’s detectives use to solve crimes. In recent times the increased use of modern technology like DNA sequencing and fingerprinting have become ever more relevant in solving crimes. Looking at how the uniqueness of a fingerprint gives detectives the ability identify an specific individual, students undertook an activity inking their own fingerprints onto pieces of paper and trying to identify their specific patterns. Although there are only a few patterns of fingerprints we found that each pattern on each finger varied from slightly different to vastly different. We then moved on learning how to dust for fingerprints that may have been left behind at a crime scene. Spreading a thin layer of this dust over an area which we marked with our fingerprints we found that although originally invisible to the naked eye our fingerprints did show up when covered with this dust. Well done to all the detectives who came down!

Joshua Tapley, Science and Technologies Captain


STEW studies Lunar Eclipse

May 28th, 2021

On Wednesday 26 May, the STEW club met again, this time turning our eyes to the skies to learn about that night’s total lunar eclipse. For centuries people have turned to the skies to one of the most spectacular events. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon falls in the direct shadow of the earth causing it to darken before eventually turning a blood red. On Wednesday the moon turned this shade of red for a total of 14 minutes as it crossed behind the earth. Students learnt through a presentation led by myself and Mr Berryman about why this happens and about how the refraction of red light of the earth atmosphere that causes the moon to go a blood red. Through a demonstration involving a ball and the earth students saw how the earth can cast a shadow across the moon when directly behind it. Contrarily, students also discovered how the exact opposite can occur with the moon casting a shadow on the earth, when it crosses in front of the sun. Additionally, the club also had the opportunity to look at a variety of different photos of planets taken by myself. Students were able to get a close look of some of the planets including the giants, Jupiter and Saturn and the dusty red planet of Mars. Congratulations to all the students who came down and I hope you all got to see the eclipse.

Josh Tapley, Science and Technologies Captain


Josh’s pictures:





Callum and Ashley – Orienteering Champs!

May 28th, 2021

Congratulations to Callum White and Ashley White who represented Whitefriars in the Victorian Secondary Schools Orienteering Championships on the weekend. The sun held out, and the courses were challenging that made good use of the Hawkstowe Park area. Both ran very well in their age groups with Ashley finishing 4th in the U/14 age group and Callum winning the U/17 age group. Well done boys.

World Bee Day 2021

May 28th, 2021

Did you know bees need to visit 4 million flowers to produce 1kg of honey? That’s 18,000km or travelling around the world four times! Queen bees lay 2,000 eggs a day and bees flap their wings 230 times per second? No wonder the term “busy bee” is used for active people. Bees live in complex social communities where every member has a unique role that aids to the success of the hive. Bees are amazing animals and contribute to everyone in three mouthfuls of food we eat every day due to pollination. Bees were celebrated at the College on World Bee Day last week on 20 and 21 May.

Ben Moore from Ben’s Bees was our guest speaker for Meet the Beekeeper Presentation. Ben has been beekeeping for decades and has written a book “For the love of Bees”. Ben’s Bees has been involved in the College’s Friars Hivers Beekeeping Club, where he has shared his passion of bees and beekeeping with this group and other staff and students on World Bee Day. He emphasised the importance of looking after bees, bee products, pests and disease and his involvement in the College’s Friars Hivers Beekeeping Club journey. Participants looked at bees under the microscope, tried Friars Hivers and Swarm Boy honey and natural bees wax chewing gum. Thank you, Ben, for the very interesting and inspiring presentation!

For more information visit


Manningham City Council Environment Dates

June is a great time to get involved in local environmental events. Manningham Council are offering a range of activities. Check these out at


Jo Menzies

Sustainability and Environment Facilitator


Find the little moments…

May 14th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you’re going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

The above words are taken from one of my favourite prayers, A Creed to Live By. I have been reflecting on these lines over the past couple of weeks. Sometimes in life we are so busy looking forward to what is next that we don’t take a moment to look back and reflect on how far we have come. I was reminded of this idea last week when our College welcomed the Class of 1970 to Whitefriars. These men were supposed to celebrate their 50th anniversary of graduation from Whitefriars last year but like many things from that time, it had to wait. Some of these men had not been back to Whitefriars since the day of their last Year 12 examination, although many had maintained strong connections with each other and the College. They all shared the same curiosity as to how much the College had changed and therefore, were keen to take a tour of our wonderful school.

As we wandered the corridors and classrooms there were moments of recognition and remembrance. Stories were told about moments of mischief and moments of enlightenment, of laughter and learning and relationships. What was particularly clear was the pride these men had in their school and the strength of relationships they had with each other. Even though some had not seen each other for many years, it was as if time had melted away and they were school mates again.

As we continued to travel the halls, these Whitefriars boys from long ago, marvelled at the opportunities afforded to the Whitefriars boys of today. The breadth of subjects, the variety of pathways and diversity of learning styles and pedagogical practice they witnessed, made them all envious of the young men who occupy the Whitefriars classrooms of 2021.

What was most enjoyable to witness was the interactions between these former students and the current crop of Whitefriars boys. As they came into the various classrooms, the Class of 1970 were greeted by enthusiastic and eager students who were proud and excited to show these men what they were up to. A tour which was supposed to take 45 minutes extended beyond an hour and a half as these two generations of Whitefriars boys interacted with each other and shared their collective experience of school, both walking away richer for the experience.

It is as important to reflect on the past as it is to look forward to the future, as important as it is to stop and take time in reflection as it is to move to the next phase. The question is, where do we find this time? Busyness seems to be the new normal which can provide a convenient excuse for not being people of reflection. But there are moments… The car ride home, when instead of listening to the news of the day, we reflect on the news of our own day and take stock. The kitchen table at teatime where we can listen to each other, learn from each other, and encourage each other. An early morning walk where we can breathe in the stillness and quite of the dawn. These are the gifted moments when we can reflect and review and maybe even contemplate and pray.

We are blessed here at Whitefriars to have the Carmelites who are models of Contemplation. For the Carmelites this is a time for cultivating a deep respect of our own uniqueness, to listen carefully to what God is saying in my life, to be open and attentive to the wonders of creation and to be welcoming of the transformation that God brings about in each person’s life.

That’s obviously a lot to take on board. Perhaps it is a good idea to start small. Just to find those little moments of silence in an otherwise noise filled life is enough to start with.


Mark Murphy


Growing Up Digital – Australia

May 14th, 2021

“The children of today’s world are growing up in a pervasive and powerful digital environment, an environment that affords great potential for educating, empowering, and democratizing their world.

But, used in undirected ways, it also has the power to affect their physical, mental and social health.”

Michael Rich, MD, MPH – Digital Wellness Lab, Boston Children’s Hospital

Philip McRae, PhD – Alberta Teachers’ Association


As parents in today’s digital age, our concerns for our children’s wellbeing in a digital environment are ever increasing and completely valid. Growing Up Digital – Australia, recently released Phase 2 of its report. We recommend parents and guardians take a moment to read the report findings. Below is a brief outline of some of its key findings and survey results.

This report, Growing Up Digital: Phase 2, shows just how much access children have to digital technologies: with 4 out of 5 children having at least one device for their own personal use, and access to an average of 3 devices.

This research explores the perceptions of parents, carers and grandparents about the effects of digital media and technologies on children and youth over time. The findings mirror some of eSafety’s own research findings 2020 in the report ‘Parenting in the digital age’. It also shows that the positive side of access to digital technologies is tempered by negative aspects, which can have an impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing. This was highlighted in one of the themes of the research, – ‘the dual power of technology’.  eSafety has a range of online safety resources to help empower parents and children to have safer and more positive experiences in navigating the ever-evolving digital world, these are all available at

While parents felt that digital technologies are enhancing their children’s maths, reading abilities and social skills, 83% of parents felt that their child have been negatively distracted by digital technologies. Of note, the research found that 37% of children and young people have become anxious or depressed because of their time online or because they were not allowed to use their device.  And while technology can be a great equaliser, this research shows that inequalities persist – these have become particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, with socio-economic factors coming into play.

Starting the conversation early is paramount to ensuring online safety as our children get older – building good habits early on and continuing throughout their maturation and growth. This research highlights the importance of education about safe and responsible use of digital technologies and that parents and carers play a critical role.


How is Whitefriars responding?

As part of the College Notebook Program, student is explicitly taught about the appropriate use of the technology to improve their learning and ensure the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others. The expectations regarding technology use is outlined in the Student Technology Use Policy. Students use their Notebooks to access the learning resources outlined by teachers in the Whitefriars Learn. They are also actively using their technology to prepare study notes, collaborate with their peers, communicate and research.

Whitefriars continues to emphasise a holistic education that provides opportunities for our young men to learn away from the Notebook and other forms of technology. Health and Physical Education, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Food Technology, and Sport are areas where students develop skills in an environment predominantly free of distractions associated with technology.

The College understands that mobile phones are an integral part of society and perform many important functions. We strongly believe that our mobile phone policy is a positive, pro-active approach to support our students in appropriate mobile phone use, based on the considered views of the school community. The policy also references the positive use of student’s Notebooks for learning and collaboration.

The Digital Technologies curriculum provide students opportunities to continue to grow and develop their knowledge and understanding of the digital world they live in. They use a range of software programs to design, create and evaluate digital solutions to meet a current or future need. Each student is encouraged to become confident, safe and ethical digital users and citizens who can communicate and collaborate efficiently and effectively using digital platforms.


Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching


What’s on in Performing Arts – Term 2 Update

May 14th, 2021

With Term 2 now in full swing, the Performing Arts department has been busily preparing for our upcoming events and concerts. After a challenging 2020, it has been heartening to see our young men work collaboratively, reaping the benefits that engagement in the arts brings.

This month we are hosting the Associated Catholic Colleges Vocal and Percussion workshop, an inter-school event which will see music students from all over Melbourne come together work with special guest mentors. This is a great opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and foster relationships with those at other schools.

Many of our ensembles are also working towards our concert for the term, Winter Melodies (June 3 at 7pm). This event will feature a variety of our vocal groups, ensembles and soloists performing a range of classical and cross-over repertoire. Tickets will soon be available via TryBooking.

Our regular Friday lunchtime concert series is also back, with a wide variety of junior and senior bands performing around the school each week. Our VCE students are hard at work preparing for their Theatre Studies production and Music Performance recitals, a great showcase of our talent at the senior end of the college.

The Whitefriars College play Land of the Dead is in full rehearsal in preparation for July and promises to be a hilarious, zombie-filled extravaganza. Likewise, those involved in Siena College’s musical The Addams Family are busily perfecting their song and dance moves ready for their opening night, also in July. Keep a look out for tickets as these get closer!

There’s lots happening this term, so make sure you come and support your sons, friends or get involved yourself!


Matthew Frampton

Learning Leader – Performing Arts

Four ACC Service Awards winners!

May 14th, 2021

The ACC Service Awards function for 2020 / 2021 were held at Mazenod College on Thursday 6 May. We are delighted to congratulate Taryn Bates, Trent Collins, Gavin Kellar and Tracey Bird for winning an award.

STEW Club – Mother’s Day Special

May 14th, 2021

On Wednesday 5 May, students participated in a STEW club activity making beeswax wraps and bath bombs for Mother’s Day. Keeping in mind all the things our mothers do for us, many students decided to come down and craft these presents to give to our mum’s on Mother’s Day. Students applied their love for science to help make a gift to show their thanks for their mother’s. For the bath bombs, we combined a mixture of citric acid, along with scented oils to create either flower, heart or ball-shaped bombs, depending on what we wanted. When making beeswax wraps students cut up pieces of beeswax and laid them out along a decretive piece of cloth. We then melted the beeswax with an iron onto the fabric creating a coating over the top, before leaving it to dry. Congratulations to all the students that successfully made their bath bombs and beeswax wraps.

Josh Tapley

Science and Technology Captain

CLC Community Partnership

May 14th, 2021

The Whitefriars Social Justice and Environment Group have been meeting every second Thursday to prepare for our visit to CLC on Thursday 27 May. Yianni and Harry have made a possum nesting box to show the CLC cohort and the students have been writing letters introducing themselves and their interest in social justice and environment issues. The group look forward to sharing ideas and developing ways for the community partnership to make genuine positive changes.

International Compost Awareness Week

May 14th, 2021

ICAW is a worldwide event for people to gain knowledge and confidence to create composts and alternatives (worm farms, bokashi bins and solar cones bins). Whitefriars College is proactive in recycling our green waste (food scraps and garden waste) and brown waste (paper, leaves and sawdust) to create compost that is then used on the garden beds. The College has three compost bins, one solar bin and a new worm farm.  All students and staff are encouraged to use the green waste bins to reduce their carbon footprint, greenhouse gases and landfill.

Roger Luo, the 2021 Environment Captain, presented a worm farm workshop to the students. The group built the worm farm while Roger explained the different layers of a worm farm and the products it creates that is good for the garden. Ms Menzies brought in some “worm wee” from home for the boys to take away. The new worm farm is located next to the compost bins outside the food tech room. Our 500 new worms will be nourished from the food tech kitchen scraps.

For more information visit:

Maria Ciavarella, the College Food Technology Assistant and My Green Garden founder, presented to staff and parents an online workshop “Compost and alternatives” on Wednesday night.  The presentation included the many benefits to composting, pros and cons of the different types including traditional composting, worm farming, bokashi bins and solar cone composting and troubleshooting. A recording of the workshop will be available on the College Click View.


Language Club meets for the first time!

May 13th, 2021

Languages Club

Last week, we had our first Languages Club Committee meeting where a small group of senior students, who all share I very strong passion for languages, came together to discuss ways that we could ignite the same passion in others. Lead by the incredible staff of the Languages Learning Area we had a lively discussion about our shared love and came up with a few ideas on how to draw out the same love and enjoyment in other students. We invite everyone to come along to the scheduled lunch times where we will have some fun activities for all students.

Alexander Dodds

Languages Captain 2021


Languages Club is coming to Whitefriars

Students will have the opportunity to come together at lunchtime to celebrate and enjoy fun language activities. Stay tuned for the first event.

Ms Paula Barca

Languages Learning Leader

en English