Event: Spring Planting with Maria

September 16th, 2020

The Science Technology and Environment @ Whitefriars (STEW) Club are presenting a gardening workshop with teacher, Ms Maria Ciavarella.

Her talk, “Getting Ready for a Bumper Harvest” is open to parents and staff and will occur on the first Tuesday of the holidays, 22 September from 7 – 8:30pm.

To RSVP, please email: jmenzies@whitefriars.vic.edu.au

Learning new skills

September 4th, 2020

Father’s Day will mean a great deal more for me this year.

My daughter, our first born, is in my arms as I write this article – she is just days old, being home for minutes.

Last week was filled with emotion; anticipation, fear, intrigue, overwhelming happiness, excitement and apprehension. I am sure fathers in our community can return to the moment their son entered into the world and recall these feelings. However, I suspect many would not have worn masks throughout the duration of a birth and stay in hospital (COVID-19).

Upon reflection (yes, we have had some quiet moments), I began to think about the life skills that prepared me for this key moment in becoming a dad. Fortunately, I have had wonderful parents, teachers and mentors that have guided, questioned, challenged and nurtured me so that I have a suite of skills and a positive mindset.

Learning new skills and seeking understanding on new topics has been important as I look to care for a newborn.

Many of the skills and habits our teachers are teaching and promoting to our students are similar to those skills I have used to learn new things during the past week. These transferrable life skills are important towards fostering positive relationships, along with reflecting, questioning, communicating, thinking critically and problem solving. Changing a nappy or swaddling a newborn are necessary skills but more importantly, it is being able to effectively deal with challenges in different situations using the ‘soft’ or ‘essential’ skills that can make a difference in the learning process.

So, what does this mean for our young men studying in the Home Learning Program?

It is challenging at the moment with COVID restrictions but to avoid or retreat is not an excuse.

Use available resources (parents, siblings, peers and teachers) to improve your understanding of the people around you and the circumstance you are in. Acquire new skills by looking at opportunities to further develop oneself. Ask questions when you don’t have the answers to ensure understanding. Learn from your mistakes – reflect on how you can improve.

Continue the journey to become gentle men. You will fully understand this term when you hold and care for a child.

To the Whitefriars boys, spend some time thanking your dad this weekend. Stay strong and prepare well for your studies.

To the Dads, Happy Father’s Day.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching


From the Principal – Light and Life

September 3rd, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars College family,

Over these weeks of home learning, I have been constantly amazed at the creativity, innovation and thoughtfulness of our staff, as they continue to provide opportunities for our young men to engage in learning on a daily basis. Since I last wrote in this space, there have been a variety of events and initiatives which have brought a bit more life and light into this time of isolation for our boys. For instance…

I attended the Lisieux House assembly, hosted by Minh Nguyen and Lachlan Callander, supported by House Leader Amanda Hourigan and her able assistant Russell Melenhorst. It was a wonderful opportunity to bring our boys and teachers together to celebrate the great Lisieux House and the efforts and achievements of our young men.

I also attended a lunchtime concert presented by Susan Neilson and our highly talented music students. We heard from many of our passionate musicians across a variety of musical genres. Thanks to Susan and all of the music staff for providing another moment of joy in our week.

Last Monday, I attended the Read a Million Words presentation event hosted by Cassandra Andison. Cassandra and Jenny Corbin, along with the Library team, have been a driving force behind this wonderful initiative. I was inspired by the passion for reading, displayed by our boys, and the looks of pride and joy on their faces when they were recognised for their literary efforts. It was wonderful to see our staff involved in the competition as well. There is nothing more powerful than when we model worthwhile learning behaviours to our students, and there aren’t many more valuable learning behaviours than reading.

On Tuesday evening, I hosted a meeting on Zoom with a group of families who are attempting to work out where their son should go to secondary school in 2022. That’s a pretty tough challenge when you can’t physically visit, nor get that feeling in your gut about the right place. However, our secret weapon that night gave these families a sense of who we are and what we are about – Toby Brown, one of our two wonderful College Vice Captains! I wish you could have heard Toby speak with such passion and deep love for his school. He spoke about the community here at Whitefriars and how they had walked with him and inspired him throughout his journey. Toby’s presence was a testament to his loving and supportive family, and our staff, who have worked in partnership over the past six years to assist him in becoming the gentle man he is today.

On Wednesday and Thursday night, we held our historic Student Parent Teacher Conferences via Zoom. The feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive. It takes skills to conduct an interview under normal circumstances – when it’s via a screen it takes more! It takes a relationship and it takes confidence, knowledge, mutual respect and understanding, which transcends the technology. It also takes a bit of a leap of faith, which frankly, all of us have had to do a lot of this year. In making these comments, I pay tribute to both parents and staff who each engaged in equal measure to ensure the success of these important meetings.

Last week, my lack of science knowledge was exposed by the challenging questions Daniela Carboon (Learning Leader of Science) and her team put together for Science Week. I have to say though, I did look forward to the science quiz each morning and I know many of our young men with a passion for science would have looked forward to it, as well along with all the other creative and fun activities. Another glimmer of light in the week for our young men!

We heard about the incredible success of our Chess team, who finished in second place in the ACC Online Chess Tournament – only 1 point behind the winner! One of these amazing young men, Jacob Sanderson, won an incredible 7 out of 7 games – now that’s discipline. I encourage you to read more in Chess Captain Hayden Menzies report. In the words of Hayden… A massive thank you to Ms Powling for organising our place in the competition, providing us with resources to continue to practice chess while Chess Club cannot meet, and keeping us up-to-date while the technical difficulties persisted.

This week at Whitefriars, Health and Physical Education Week was led by our Katherine Smith, Jo Menzies and our enthusiastic PE staff. Our boys participated in a variety of challenges and activities throughout the week. These included everything from Skills and Fitness Zoom sessions, cooking a sustainable meal, to growing their own food and just taking some time out. Students even had the opportunity to take on our Principal and College Captain in attempting to set a new Guinness book of World Record for pea-eating with a toothpick!

In these challenging times we could be forgiven for not wishing to look to far ahead. At last week’s Course Advice Day, that is just what we asked our Year 9 and 10 students to engage in. Our staff supported our boys to reflect on what they liked and what they had an aptitude for, as they discerned their courses of study for next year. I am very grateful to our staff who provided a great service to our boys as they discerned a bright future during this challenging time.

How lucky are we to be in a place that brings us so much light and life in times that are not so bright and light? I hope you all have a great week. And remember, reach out to each other. In this place, I know you will not be disappointed.


Mr Mark Murphy



Happy Father’s Day

September 2nd, 2020

In lieu of our annual Father’s Day breakfast, we would like to wish all of the fathers, stepfathers, male teachers and mentors – a wonderful Father’s Day via this video.

In this year of unequivocal change, we hope that you have been given a greater glimpse into your son (and what makes him tick!) and that what you’ve both learnt about each other, changes your lives for the better.

The College community wishes you a wonderful weekend.


Whitefriars Day

September 2nd, 2020

There is something special about Whitefriars College. I have interviewed countless prospective students and parents over the years, and I couldn’t count the number of times these parents have commented on the incredible ‘feel’ they got when they walked around the College on a tour or during Open Day.

On Friday 11 September, the College community will be celebrating Whitefriars Day (formally known as Mount Carmel Day). The aim of the day is to celebrate the fantastic Whitefriars community we belong to, connect with our Catholic Carmelite tradition and raise awareness of our connection and support of the people of Timor-Leste, (the photos you see are the wonderful young people of Timor-Leste). This year, we will all be participating in a virtual event with a few additions to make the day more meaningful.

Instead of the traditional walkathon, we have planned a special event called ‘Walk in Their Shoes’ and this is where we need the support of the whole Whitefriars community. In line with Victorian Government restrictions permitting exercise ‘once a day for up to 1 hour within a 5km radius of a person’s home’, we ask students and extend an invitation to families to walk for 40 minutes around their local area in solidarity with young people in Timor-Leste. The 40 minutes is significant as it is the average walking time it takes a young Timorese to walk to school. When exercising with your family, be sure to take a photo and send it to jvujcich@whitefriars.vic.edu.au so that we can share this amazing community experience.

Mr Joshua Vujcich, Director – Identity, Mission & Service, has prepared a short video (for staff and students) to promote this significant day.

Whitefriars Day

I hope it is a wonderful celebration as we join together as a community and celebrate all that is great about Whitefriars.


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students


2020 College Writing Competition – Winners

September 2nd, 2020

Well done to all students who took part in the College Writing Competition. The winning pieces (1st placed only) will be published in the ‘Shared Stories’ Anthology and each of the winners and their families will be invited to attend the online launch of this anthology.

To read these wonderful winning pieces, please click here.

We encourage all of our writers to keep writing – every piece we read showed real promise! Thank you to all for your participation in the competition!

Year 7

Stanley Toklis and

Zander Downie

‘Thank You Pappou’

‘Sophia – our special little angel’

2nd Noah Mendez ‘Respect’
3rd Julian Pruscino ‘Respect and why it is important’
Year 8
1st Phil Deane ‘The Lap’
2nd Albert Yip ‘Shining Light’
3rd Lukas Mallios ‘Respectfully Yours’
Year 9

Lewis Cameron

Kaspar Nickel



2nd Joseph Li-Sculli Untitled
3rd Liam Watts Untitled
Year 10
1st Evan O’Connor ‘Memories Under a Drop Sheet’
2nd Ben Smith ‘Respect’

Jack Mow

Harry Begley

‘Seeing Red’


With our sincere thanks to:

We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these students at a morning tea celebration at a later date to be confirmed. Students will receive their prizes and certificates at this morning tea.


Mr Andrew Wight

Learning Leader of English, on behalf of the English Learning Area

From the Sustainability and Enviro Team

September 2nd, 2020

Health, PE and Environment Week 2020

The Sustainability and Environment Team have had a great week co-running the Health PE and Environment Week. The focus has been around the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 sustainability theme, Be Better, Together, for the Planet and People by organising a WFC @ Home Olympics week. Students have had the opportunity to enter the “Be Good” photography competition, create a vegetarian MasterChef video, learn how to forest bath, create a recycled art piece and a how-to grow snow peas guide. Thank you to the staff and captains, who have put together the activities and to the staff and students who have participated.

Check out the Environment Captain, Max’s video on cooking the perfect breakfast hash: https://www.youtube.com/CookwithMax

Spring is in the air!

Our gardens and local environments have been an important space to the college community during the Home Learning Program. A Year 10 student recently reflected “My garden acts as a resort for me to relax, take a break, put my feet up and enjoy a warm beverage with a beautiful view. I especially love my garden because you can have a clear view of the sun rising in the east, passing north and setting in the west, which is a very warming and relaxing feeling to have it pass through while relaxing in my backyard.

Spring is such a wonderful time to spend in the garden. Whitefriars College’s multi-talented food tech, Maria Ciavarella, offers gardening know how and tips on her website http://www.mygreengarden.com.au/.


A Proud Gardener – my favourite hobby – Gardening by Roger Luo (11)

Roger Luo’s reflection “A Proud Gardener” explains his hard work and challenges at establishing his garden and a worm farm in his suburban backyard and offers encouragement to others to give it a go. He writes:

“Whether it’s trying to get some fresh air, have fun with the family, protect the environment, reduce food waste, getting some sunshine, curing the LOCKDOWN boredom, or just trying to do anything in your free time instead of mindlessly browsing YouTube FOREVER… Gardening can help you achieve all of them(hopefully).

You see, gardening is like life, you put in the hard work, cater for the plants, and you will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest that make you so happy. I started with some very simple, low risk high reward gardening. The first year, I bought tomato and cucumber seedlings from the nursery. Throughout the next two years, I slowly leaned when to transplant, how to start from seed and appreciates the beauty of the growing process.

Currently, it’s the best season to get deep into gardening, spring. Right now, around the garden I am doing a few things:

  1. Nursing and getting the summer seedlings ready for this planting season
  2. Trying out some new heirloom varieties (basically a rare and exotic variety of the plants, they will really impress your parents)
  3. Caring for my Avocado, Plums, Lemon, persimmon, fig and date tree (quite a mouthful)
  4. Worm farming and starting to compost
  5. Ordering a CRAZY amount of seeds (in my defence it’s very hard to resist)
  6. Clearing out the dying peas
  7. Burying more vegie scraps in the soil
  8. Starting potted rosemary
  9. planting potatoes in felt bags

Gardening provides you with a new world of fun you never knew existed, and it is just the best biting into fresh food that YOU grew. More than that I think it allows you to enjoy life in a new light, which is especially needed during the lockdown.

However, such rewards do not come without challenges, like all things in life. Gardening for a high schooler whose parents are not into or understand gardening is a HARD task. In fact, that’s me, my parents always thought gardening is gross, smells and dirty so they opposed everything that I did. For the potential gardeners out there, I would suggest that you:

  1. Do not get too carried away with YouTube videos. Overall, they are passionate gardeners who are willing to spend a lot more money on gardening than what your parents would probably want to spend.
  2. Start small, don’t specifically get that coco coir and perlite soil just for the seeds, soil is soil. You don’t need to plant a lot of vegies, it can just be a pot of well cultivated rosemary on the window sill.
  3. Use fabric pots, get potato grow bags, or felt, fabric containers, they are cheap and reusable
  4. Grow something that are easy and rewarding, usually the easiest crop to grow is root crops, *cough* radishes *cough*, they mature in a month! Need I say more?
  5. Compost, not only is it good for your garden, it literally is a part to curb the global warming, I’m sure you can convince you parents to slow global warming because no one wants a bushfire disaster again.
  6. Favourite YouTube gardener is Kevin from Epic Gardening https://www.youtube.com/user/EpicGardening and Self-sufficient Me(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJZTjBlrnDHYmf0F-eYXA3Q

I hear you say composting is too expensive, well say no more: compost revolution https://compostrevolution.com.au/ provides you with up to 80% off! Overall the most important tip is don’t give up, when you think its all over, gardening is like life – about persistence. “



Guilt Free Father’s Day

Palm Oil education is important at the college. As you hover in the confectionary aisle this week picking out a Father’s Day sweet gift, be empowered that your generosity extends beyond your home. Your money can support companies who are working very hard at using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), which supports communities, conserves habitats for orang-utans, Sumatra tigers, gibbons, Asian elephants and ecosystems. Australian labelling laws means palm oil content can be hidden and you could be supporting deforestation, animal cruelty and community poverty. Visit https://www.zoo.org.au/dont-palm-us-off/ for more information. Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping App and understand what’s in your trolley and who you are supporting.

Science and Technology Week: Deep Blue

September 2nd, 2020

Between 17 – 20 August, the College celebrated Science and Technology Week remotely with a range of exciting activities. The theme for National Science Week this year, was Deep Blue, which involved a focus on science and history of the ocean. Each day, a different quiz with a different theme was sent out to students, competing to win a variety of prizes. We would like to congratulate the daily quiz winners:

We would also like to recognise everyone who participated in activities throughout the week; ranging from virtual deep-sea dives, watching science films (SCINEMA), an online scavenger hunt and cuttlefish counting competition. Notably, on Tuesday, we hosted a virtual escape room which had students solve an increasingly challenging underwater puzzles in forty-five minutes. The fastest times to complete the all the puzzles came from Zander Downie and James Dorrat Sims. Congratulations.

We hope that all these activities stimulated and engaged the College’s curious minds and we hope that they continue to nurture and grow their curiosities in their studies and other extra-curricular activities!

A massive thank you to Mrs Carboon and Ms Menzies for organising the activities of Science Week, providing the resources for the week and STEW club, and persisting through, despite the unusual circumstances. In addition, we would also like to give a massive thank you to Mr Berryman, who turned up to each activity and hosted both the SCINEMA viewing on Wednesday and created the Quizzizz on Thursday.

If you wish to participate in other science-based activities this year, please contact Mrs Carboon to join STEW Club. Currently, we are learning the science behind the Rubik’s cube with special students showing us the ropes on how to solve a 3×3 Rubik’s cube in under a minute!

Written by Daniel Borg and Ben Clarke (Year 12)

Applications for Year 7 2022 are now being accepted

September 2nd, 2020

If you have a son currently in Year 5, you will need to apply before the closing date of
Friday 9 October 2020. Families already enrolled at the College will need to submit
an Application for Enrolment Form or contact us info@whitefriars.vic.edu.au

Register now for our virtual Question and Answer session with Principal, Mr Mark
Murphy at bit.ly/WFCTour

Applications Closing soon.

Triple J unearths Josh Hannan

September 2nd, 2020
Josh Hannan (Year 12) has been listed on Triple J’s Unearthed High!
You can view his profile here: https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/josh-hannan and listen to his song below.
Well done Josh!

From the Principal – The Memorare

August 20th, 2020

Dear members of the Whitefriars College family,

As Catholic Educators it is our mission to bring the Good News of Jesus to the young people we serve. I have to say that in our quest to achieve this lofty aim, we don’t always hit the mark. Trying to explain the great mysteries of our faith is an art that we can spend a lifetime developing and still, we never truly know if we have left some sort of impression. In these moments when we attempt to connect our young people with faith, I say thank God for Mary. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a gift to us – of what it truly means to live a Christian life. It is little wonder that the first Carmelites who came to together on Mt. Carmel over 800 years ago, chose Mary as their guide. Today when a person chooses the life of a Carmelite, they are asked to take on Mary as their model for life. Mary helps to understand not only who Jesus was, but also what he is calling each of us to be.

Like any good mother, Mary lived in the moment. Mary never cloistered herself away or lived in the past or for the future. She was there for her family at the most significant moments of their lives. When her family was in need, she reached out in support of them, putting aside her own concerns to be with others in need. When her son was lost, she dropped everything to search for him. When he started his public life, she believed in him. When he was taking his last breath on the cross, she was with him. When the early church was at it’s most fragile, she was there to inspire, support and lead her community.

All the while in every circumstance or experience, Mary always pondered these things in her heart. Which to me means that, like the rest of us, she grappled with things, struggled to make meaning of what was happening and searched in her heart to find the answers.

In my life, I grapple and struggle to make sense of what is happening around me and in the world, particularly at this time. It is at these moments, I try to do what Mary did. Stop, ponder, contemplate and pray. One of most important prayers in our Church is one that was written in about the fifteenth century. It was a prayer to Mary, called the Memorare. A prayer which reminds us that Mary is ready to help us when we need it.

On Saturday 15 August, we celebrated one of the most significant feast days in the Church’s calendar – The feast of the Assumption of Mary. On this day, we celebrate the central role of Mary in our Church and in our faith. Our good friend, Pope Francis, tells us that Mary’s assumption into heaven calls people to put aside all those insignificant, mundane and petty concerns competing for their attention and instead be drawn to God and his greatness.

At Whitefriars, I see every day how much pride our young men have in our College. I have never heard of a Whitefriars boy, who was shy of letting everyone know the school he come from. They proudly wear their uniform with the crest on their pocket; a symbol of the place of Mary in our College. So if then, we steadfastly identify ourselves as people of Whitefriars, should we not as proudly identify ourselves as people of Mary? Should we not take some time to ponder, to reflect, to contemplate and perhaps to pray about the times we are in and see how the example of Mary can guide us in these challenging times?

As people committed to the Carmelite tradition, let us remember the example of Mary who…

Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Pray for us

Almae In Fide Parentis


The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy, hear and answer me.

Mr Mark Murphy


Learning is about Growth

August 20th, 2020

At Whitefriars College we encourage all learners use resources and develop their talents to achieve personal excellence. To fully utilise one’s talents each student must reflect upon their learning and then use mistakes to further improve and grow. Consider a time in your learning when it didn’t go to plan and the desired result was not achieved. How did it feel? How did you learn from the mistake? Did you find an alternate solution? Did you do further research or ask questions to find out information so that you could learn to execute the skill or understand the knowledge?

Successful learners are always looking to improve or grow. This positive mindset is influential on academic achievement.

Last In Fide edition Mr. Trent Collins, Director – Middle Years, celebrated the Top 25 students in each year level (Year 7-11). These are students who applied themselves in their studies and achieved excellent academic achievement by demonstrating critical thinking, reflection and problem solving.

Importantly, this In Fide edition we recognise the students who have shown outstanding growth in their studies from the previous semester (Semester 2 2019 to Semester 1 2020). These students have reflected upon their learning, asked questions of themselves and about their learning, increased their work ethic and improved study habits (introduced effective homework strategies, notetaking, use of the library during and after school, asking questions).

Congratulations to the top 25 students in each year level for growth in their learning (note: Year 7 2020 is  not included due to no 2019 data):

Year 8

Isaac Lawrenson B3
Ned North-Coombes E4
Joshua Ascar A3
Jacob Tymms B4
Lachlan Hook T5
Zachary Devers C2
Edward Kelly M1
David Clonan C7
Justin Shek M4
Bailey Wallace A4
Zainalabdeen Basam E4
Oliver Marelas T1
Harrison Mercieca E2
Henry Ferns B3
Alexander Rendina B1
Matthew Deane A1
Lukas Mallios C7
Joshua Smillie B3
James Walsh S2
Samuel Lochner L7
Charles Rumble T4
Benjamin Searle S3
Angus Eckermann A5
Eric Rechichi A2
Ryan O’Neil – Parker A3


Year 9

Logan Hanson E2
Adam Harrison A2
Sasha Iannazzone S1
Tige Ridley C7
Patrick Keehne C4
Marcus Santilli E2
Tristan Devers S2
Sam Evans B3
Ethan Downie E6
John Tan C3
Alexander Rehfisch T7
Noah Bourke L7
Jack Sugden M5
Carter Prokop B2
Sanjeev Bajwa S2
Matthew Botha E2
Tong Minh Vu A3
Will Jackson C5
Angus Clayton T1
Amin Khatibi-Yekta L4
Daniel Crain L2
John Papadopoulos S4
Kaspar-Peter Nickel A6
Samuel Wensor S5
Samuel Coxhead C3


Year 10

Liam Gooden E3
Anton Pozzuto T5
Joshua Cayzer A4
Luke Verhoeven L7
Jack Harrington S1
William Moran E5
Marco Marcucci T1
Declan Murphy M3
Liam Keenan C2
Harrison Serong B4
Christopher Stojnic A7
James Macaluso L4
Corey Rennison M5
Lachlan Burns B6
Noah Fenwick T5
Flynn Cookes L3
Joshua Paton B2
Tadiwa Maramba M7
Jamie Dittmann T3
Louis Sibul A2
Declan Ryan M1
Christopher Butterworth A6
Isaac Tymms B6
William Baker B7
Jordan Louloudakis T6


Year 11

Andrew Fernando C2
Edward Phillips S6
Patrick Zwarts L3
Darcy Fenech M5
Harrison Pex L3
Patrick Reis A5
Declan O’Connor A6
Thomas Rumble T7
Benjamin Phillips C5
Jack Jenkins B7
Angus Bunker-Smith C7
Wing Cheung Hui A2
Chu Fan Luo L2
Joseph Blaser L7
John Piera L6
Charles Catlin M6
Angus Ballantyne S1
Maxwell Hartnett S1
Benjamin Burton-Smith A5
Damian Brandsma B1
Ka Kin Ma A7
Harry Fisher T7
Edward Levi M1
Zhifeng Chen T7
Spencer Larsen T6


Year 12

Luke Pirzas B6
Julian Astuto C2
Xander Tassell B3
Kai Dickson E5
Charlie Stute E4
Luke Corda A7
Benjamin Perera T3
Benjamin Bugeja M7
Sebastian Salamone E1
Lachlan Fox T2
Marco Mazziotta T7
Eliot Ciardulli B6
Lane King L5
Kane Wallace A5
Nicholas Kunz M3
Jon Escobar S6
Liam Conole C3
Jonathon Ghaly C1
Kyle Donohue C1
Marcus Mohr E3
Matthew Scutella B2
Jackson Archer S2
Cameron Dennis M4
Emery Schulz S3
Thomas Butler T6

 Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching


en English