Jack Gurrie takes bronze!

April 29th, 2021

Once a ‘Friar, always a ‘Friar. Congratulations to Jack Gurrie (Class of 2020) who won bronze in the 400 Individual Medley at the Australian Swimming Championships!


April 29th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

I get a sense now, that the world is a fragile place. On the one hand, life appears to be returning to normal, particularly here in Australia. On the other, we know that our situation can change rapidly. In some ways the challenges of 2020 are behind us, but we also know that the impacts of that extraordinary year are still being keenly felt in our community and will be for some time to come. The disruption and distress of 2020 has had implications in education. Our school achieved amazing things and did heroic work in support of the young people we serve, particularly with regards to their learning last year. But there are some things we could not replicate in the home learning environment. I speak most particularly of the broader experience of school; physically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.

It appears that all our students are playing a bit of catch up when it comes to their development as young people. Our Year 7 students never had the chance to truly experience all the opportunities and events of their Grade 6 year, and all the learning and growth which comes with that. Our Year 8s never truly learnt what it is to be a Year 7, and yet we are expecting them to behave like Year 8s. The same could be said for all year levels. My belief is that over time this situation will right itself and that the pendulum will swing back to its normal rhythm.

At Whitefriars, our staff are acutely aware of this phenomenon and are doing all that they can to support our students to bridge any gaps they may have with regards to their learning and their broader social-emotional growth. Our role, as a school and as parents, is to work with our boys with patience, kindness and understanding, whilst also challenging them to step outside their comfort zones, as they continue to grow and reach their full potential as young gentlemen of Whitefriars.

This phenomenon of which I speak, also applies to us all in different ways. One such example is our desire to feel part of a community. After the year we have had, many of us are craving opportunities to feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to others. One such example of this came in the form of our recent 2020 Valedictory dinner held at the Sofitel Melbourne. Many students and their families, along with supporting staff, from the Class of 2020, enjoyed a night of reflection, celebration and recognition of the efforts and achievements of these amazing young men. The prevailing theme of the night was one of thanksgiving. The boys spoke of their gratitude for all the support they received from their teachers and the College as a whole, and all attendees were incredibly grateful the occasion could take place at all. Full credit for ensuring the event took place, must go to our Director of Senior Students Greg Clifford who never gave up on his vision to hold such an event. Thanks also Josh Vujcich (Director – Identity, Mission and Service) and Fr. Paul Sireh, O’Carm. (College Chaplain) for providing us with the opportunity to reflect and pray together. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to Kelli Joiner, Officer Manager and Megan Jones, Receptionist, for their hard work in ensuring that all elements were in place for a successful and memorable evening.

As we continue through this important year of reflection, and celebration of 60 years of Whitefriars College, let us all remember to take some time to stop, to reflect, to be patient and to be kind to ourselves and each other and to give thanks for the wonderful blessing of the community which is Whitefriars College.

Mr Mark Murphy


Intermediate Badminton team 2021 ACC Champs!

April 28th, 2021

Congratulations to the Whitefriars Intermediate Badminton team who have been crowned the ACC Champions for 2021. A huge effort by the boys and their coach Mr Anthony Yeo. Go Friars!

60th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Commemorative Candle

April 28th, 2021


The Whitefriars Parents’ Association in conjunction with Whitefriars College are delighted to invite our Whitefriars community (no current students, 18 years and over) to an evening which will be a celebration of friendships and history. The cost of the tickets is simply to cover the cost of the venue, food, beverages and entertainment. The Whitefriars Parents’ Association will be donating funds towards the evening to ensure it is cost effective for the wider community.

The event will be held at the Vogue Ballroom on Friday 20 August from 7pm. Tables of ten are available but with a capacity of 370 people, make sure to get in early.

Ticket includes three course meal, canapes and all beverages and entertainment by ‘Spin’ – Melbourne’s ultimate Cover Band.

Bookings will close on Friday 30 July 2021 (unless sold our prior). No payments will be accepted at the College.

If you wish to list your name as a Table Captain, please email the table number and the name to be listed to Natasha Alexander nalexander@whitefriars.vic.edu.au

Friday 20 August

Vogue Ballroom
399 Blackburn Road
Burwood East


Early bird discount
Get the early bird special price of $110/ticket (until 1 June) or $120/ticket until bookings close.
Please contact Mrs Natasha Alexander, Director of Development and Enrolment 9872 8200 or nalexander@whitefriars.vic.edu.au


Commemorative Candle $25

As part of celebration the Whitefriars Parents’ Association has produced an anniversary candle. Information about the candle and proceeds can be found at https://www.trybooking.com/BQUYL. The candles are $25 and can be purchased through Trybooking, for pick up from reception at a later date.



Parent Partnerships

April 28th, 2021

Parent involvement in schooling benefits students, teachers and parents. As students’ progress through schooling, their parents tend to offer support in less visible ways, with direct parent involvement in schools being reduced. Parental participation improves student learning across all levels of schooling and is encouraged at Whitefriars.

The benefits for involving parents in student learning at the College include:

For students:

For parents:

For teachers:

Our Student Parent Teacher Conferences this week highlighted this important relationship between student, parent and the teachers at the College to work together to improve learning. Conversations online allowed parents to gain an understanding of where their son’s learning achievement and growth has occurred during the first semester to date. The move to online conferences and the disruptions to learning in 2020 created unprecedented and unexpected high demand by parents seeking feedback through the online experience. Due to this demand, we will be reviewing the process for Semester 2 and looking at ways to improve, again building on an opportunity for parents to be involved in their son’s schooling.

During Term 2, study skills evenings for parents and their son further highlights a partnership that supports learning. Parents can learn the skills with their son, thus creating opportunities for dialogue regarding learning. Our College Book Club is invitational for parents and allows opportunities to role model reading habits that are essential to successful learning.

Students, at times, can experience stress at school, particularly in the Senior Years of schooling. It affects parents, students, and teachers. Parents may respond or may be anxious about the attitude, behaviour, prospects and/or performance of their son. The frequency and effectiveness of communication and mutual support through our Pastoral Care Teachers, House Leaders and subject teachers and initiatives like Parent Information Evenings and involvement in the Parent Association, helps ensure the provision of constructive advice about supporting our boys.
The College provides extensive subject selection and career advice for students and parents during Term 2 and 3 (depending on the year level). The conversations help parents feel empowered and provides an opportunity to understand better the transition process and develop an awareness of the problems caused by imposing unrealistic expectations.
Maintaining a supportive relationship with their child and the school is important for parents. Our online learning platform, Whitefriars Engage, provides regular information and student achievement information and important communication. Whitefriars’ also facilitates opportunities for supportive communication between parents and their son through email, by phone and at regular events.

An upcoming event that parents are encouraged to attend is the Study Skills. The College will be offering study skills evenings for students in Year 8, 9 and 10 this term to assist students and their parents. The evenings will be facilitated by Marina Ensor, Mark Ashmore, Greg Clifford and Claire Thompson in the Healy-Wilson Theatre. Bookings are required due to the limited number of seats in the theatre.

The dates are as follows:
Year 8
Tuesday 4 May
7pm – 8pm
Click on the link to book: https://www.trybooking.com/BQYAA

Year 9 and 10
Mon 24 May, Tues 25 May and Thurs 27 May
7pm – 9pm
Click on the link to book: https://www.trybooking.com/BQYAN


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

STEW Club – Engineering your paper helicopter

April 28th, 2021

On Wednesday 21 April at lunchtime, a range of students participated in the STEW Club activity where they engineered their paper helicopter. Students were briefed to design a helicopter to drop supplies to remote areas of East Timor recently devastated by floods and landslides. A controlled descent and soft landing were essential – too fast might damage the load and too slow might blow off course.  Students worked hard throughout lunchtime to make a prototype paper helicopter. They tested and adapted their prototype taking into account air resistance, gravity, weight, drag, and lift. Ultimately testing their adapted paper helicopters from the Science and Technology building third level landing. Well done to James McGowan for engineering a simple helicopter that hovered the best and Joshua Tapley for engineering a helicopter that survived the descend three stories off the Science and Technology building.

Watch out for our upcoming STEW Club activity on Wednesday 5 May – Bath bombs and Beeswax wraps for Mothers Day.

Mrs Daniela Carboon

Learning leader – Science and Technology

Whitefriars Sport Development Program – Term 1

April 28th, 2021

Wow, what a term. How great was it to see the delight and happiness of the boys being able to be back participating and competing in Sport. After the effect of COVID-19 in 2020, the boys were very enthusiastic to be back out doing what they love so much, and, doing it with their best mates.

Please find a snapshot of what happened in Term 1. We look forward to sharing so many more moments like these for the rest of the year. Please keep an eye on Whitefriars Social Media accounts for up to date results and achievements.


House Carnivals

The Term 1 calendar finds all of our House carnivals and it was great to the boys back representing their House and dressing up in their House colours. There were some outstanding individual results and many Whitefriars Records beaten throughout the carnivals, but, congratulations must go to the following Houses who have been crowned the winners for the 2021 School Year.

2021 House Athletics: Soreth

2021 House Swimming: Soreth

2021 House Cross Country: Tie – Avila and Trinity


ACC Championship Carnivals
After the success of the House carnivals, students were selected to represent the College in their chosen events in the ACC championships. Although Whitefriars were not crowned the winners, the coaches were very pleased with the performance of the teams, placing on the podium for all three events.


Sports Development Program – Term 1 Sport
Term 1 sees the beginning of our Whitefriars Sports Development Program. Please find a summary of our sport programs that took place.

Senior Tennis: PREMIERS

Congratulations must go to the ACC champions for Senior Tennis. Ultimately going through undefeated, the boys fought off a huge challenge from Mazenod at Melbourne Park to clinch the title. I would also like to announce the following individual achievements.

The ACC have also put together a video, which you can find at this link below;
ACC Senior Tennis 2021 – YouTube

The ACC have also made available the Grand Final pictures, which you can find at this link below:

2021 Album – Associated Catholic Colleges (accmelb.com.au)

Senior Cricket: Whitefriars finished in 3rd Place

The cricket boys progressed into the Semi Final where they were narrowly defeated by eventual winners De La Salle. The boys were asked to chase a low score of 89 and fell an agonisingly 10 runs short, being dismissed. I would also like to announce the following individual achievements
Term 1 ACC Senior Sport Award: Jamie Ross (Opening Batsmen with 171 Runs @85.5)
Term 1 Cricket ACC Team of the Year: Thomas Sonderhof, Jamie Ross and Corey Rennison

Senior Volleyball: Whitefriars finished RUNNERS UP

Always a tough challenge facing off against the best in the business in ACC Volleyball, Mazenod. The boys put up a challenge, but, were unfortunately out gunned in the end and finished runners up for the season. Mr Jeremy Freeman has put in a huge effort over the past 10 years working with our volleyballers and I an ACC pennant is just around the corner for the Friars.
Term 1 Volleyball ACC Team of the Year: Patrick Cotter & Alex Macrokanis

Year 7 – 10 Sports Development Program:

Throughout Term 1, the Year 7-10 students were working with their respective coaches training for their chosen sports for the upcoming winter season in Term 2. Students were provided opportunity to enhance their games whilst coaches looked to incorporate game plans and structures for their teams. Students should be proud of their efforts and I congratulate those boys who have been chosen to represent the College in Term 2 for Football and Soccer. Any student that may have missed out, please look to identify some feedback from your coach and I encourage you to stay involved with the sport and try out again next year.


Mr Kristan Height

Co-0rdinator – Sport

Library News April 2021

April 28th, 2021

Read a Million Words House Challenge…Ready Set Go 2021!
The Read a Million Words House Challenge for 2021 has been launched with great enthusiasm, with students counting their reading from the holidays as a start. House tallies have begun to appear in the Shortis Library foyer. Fascinating book chats are occurring where students verify their reading and share thoughts on authors, titles and stories. Bonus points can be earned by writing reviews for the library catalogue and the library blog.

The challenge runs from 1 April – 4 August 2021 and is open to all students and staff of Whitefriars College.

More information: Read a Million House Reading Challenge 2021 Guide


Lego Club
The first Lego Club of term two saw students take on a 20-minute challenge to ‘make a duplicate of an everyday item’.
Year 7s, Henry Robinson, Riley Edwards, Santiago Paulini, Tom Clancy & Luke Paciocco amongst others, quickly got their thinking caps on to create an iPhone; Water tap; Apple, Lemon, Blueberry, Slipper & Gas lighter and candle.


Coming up …Term 2 at the Shortis Library

Contact Library: librarystaff@whitefriars.vic.edu.au Ph: 9872 8320

The Shortis Library Team

Child Safety Team

April 28th, 2021

There’s no more important ingredient in the success of, and happiness in, a school than the safety of its students. Developing a culture of safety at school is critical in creating the best environment for students and staff to thrive. When students feel safe, they achieve better outcomes, have better mental health and they have the confidence be the best versions of themselves.
Students must be given an opportunity to participate in conversations about their safety. Not only does this help young people understand issues relating to safety, it also enables them to build alliances with adults in the school and feel comfortable to raise concerns about their safety or the safety of their peers. 2021 has seen the introduction of the inaugural Whitefriars Child Safety Team, a group of students and staff whose focus is the safety of students at Whitefriars College. This is an example of protective participation, a process through which young people can, “…inform, shape and provide feedback on strategies to promote their safety, prevent abuse and appropriately respond if they are harmed” (Moore, T., 2018, Protective Participation: The Voices of Young People on Safety).

The purpose of the Team is to:

The members of this Team include: Sourav Gray, Ashley White, James Hammerton, Max Ceppi, John Wilton, Joel Savy, Ryan Dickenson, Luke Verhoeven, James Newman, Joseph Petrowski, Mrs Erin Lindley (Leader Psychological Services), Mr Pablo Pizzuto (Risk and Compliance Manager), Joshua Vujcich (Director Identity, Mission & Service) and Mr Mick Lafferty (Deputy Principal – Students).

The creation of a student-friendly Child Safety Policy and the development of a transparent and accessible safety concern reporting process are the first two items of business for this Team. I’m looking forward to the students offering valuable insights, feedback and advice about how we can continue to make Whitefriars a safe and supportive community.

Mr Mick Lafferty
Deputy Principal – Students

It takes a village to raise a child…

March 29th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

A couple of Sunday’s ago, I stood before a group of prospective parents at our College Open Day to speak about the virtues and advantages of a boy’s education. I believe it was not possible to commence this address, without first acknowledging and supporting, the growing chorus of young women who continue to show strength and courage in calling out the extremely poor behaviours of some young men in our society.

This issue presents us all with great challenges and opportunities. The opportunities come from the fact that there is inherent goodness in all our boys and therefore change and growth is possible. The challenge comes from the fact that these same young men are also capable of making very poor choices, which can lead to far reaching consequences and serious impacts on the lives of others.

There has been much said in the media and elsewhere about the significant role schools have in forming and educating students about issues of consent and respectful relationships. I fully support this view. Here at Whitefriars, over many years, we have been committed to the education of our students in relation to sexuality, respect, and the inherent dignity and worth of all people. The College’s Wellbeing program, which all students participate in weekly, has drawn on both external and internally developed programs to provide opportunities for Whitefriars students to stop, reflect, discuss, discern and develop behaviours and attitudes founded on absolute and unequivocal respect for women.

The highlighting of this issue in our society has also provided us with a timely opportunity to reflect on the programs we provide to our students. It is clear, that whilst we do offer programs related to respectful relationships and sexuality, with a focus on the dignity of women, we should be doing more. We have identified some gaps, particularly around consent, which need attention. Our staff, led by our Wellbeing team, are currently discerning a number of programs which will assist us in bridging these gaps to support the provision of a more holistic and comprehensive curriculum offering across a number of learning areas, including Wellbeing, Religious Education and, Health and Human Development, to support the growth of our young men.

In an article published this past week Adolescent Psychologist, Dr Michael Carr Greg says this…

While schools do need to re-examine what they are doing in terms of sex education and when they are doing it, it is time for parents, grandparents and adult carers to exert a steadying influence, to become the voice of reason to counter this culture of misogyny

As a father of five adult children, I have always been acutely aware of my role as a model of what it is to be a good man. Along with my wife, we are ultimately responsible for the development of our children’s moral compass. Having said that, I believe that these conversations can be difficult at times and in hindsight, as parents, we could have addressed these issues more frequently. I know too, that it is not just our words which can educate our children but, more powerfully, our actions which dictate how our children will perceive our attitudes in this space. Our children watch and remember every word we say and every action we take and therefore our role in educating our sons is particularly crucial in their development.

At Whitefriars our mission is to work in partnership with families to build a gentle man – one who knows who he is, how to take his place as a functioning member in community and how to respectfully engage with others – both men and women. The gentle man understands gender equality and what consent means and will comfortably call out all behaviours which do not respect the dignity and rights of others.

So, the message today is that this is one of partnership. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is never been more appropriate than it is right now. The messages we send, actions we take and the education we deliver needs to be aligned. To this end we are currently discerning opportunities to provide you with knowledge and resources in this space as we work together to assist you in support your son’s growth and development as a fine young gentle man of Whitefriars.


Mr Mark Murphy


Wellbeing at Whitefriars

March 29th, 2021

Resilience is a quality Whitefriars is committed to developing in our young men. We feel our partnership with The Resilience Project in developing gratitude, empathy and mindfulness will assist them in developing the skills and attitudes to cope with life’s challenges.

Students recently completed the Youth Resilience Survey. This online survey gathered information from our boys at a cohort level in terms of their strengths, life satisfaction, hopefulness, anxiety, and depression, coping style, and risk and protective behaviours. Specifically, the survey measured the resilience and wellbeing of your young people across 9 key domains: Understanding Self, Social Skills, Positive Relationships, Safety, Healthy Body and Healthy Mind, Learning, Positive Attitude, Positive Values, Positive Identity.

From the results, we have some wonderful things to celebrate as a school and community (purple figure is Whitefriars and the black figure is the Australian norm for males; year levels at the base of the graph). For example, our boys feel safe at school, are involved in the broad opportunities the College offers which is a reflection of their engagement at school and they have a significant adult in their life they who is a good example for them.

However, we still understand that there is so much more we can do working in partnership with parents to assist and support our boys become the best that they can be. Boys are reluctant ‘talkers’ and the results below support this. Boys tend to bottle things up which can have a significant impact on their mental health. They are also still spending a significant amount of time on their phones which would clearly be impacting their sleep patterns.

There was one question in the survey which asked for students to comment: ‘If you could magically do anything, what is one thing that you would do to support the wellbeing of young people?’ In three very simple yet insightful words, one fascinating response from a Middle Years student was, ‘A forget pill.’ Maybe he is onto something. If only we could move on more effectively, learn from our mistakes, put them behind us and not dwell on the past, we might be a bit better off. Other students provided  comments which, if we all took on board in our own lives, the world would be a better place: ‘Reach out to others more’, ‘Give them support and a place to feel safe’, ‘Make it ok to speak up’, ‘Give them someone to talk to’ and ‘Teach them how to make themselves happy’.

In partnership with our families, we will continue to find ways to support, nurture and guide our young men to be happy, resilient, and kind – true gentle men.

Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students

2021 House Cross Country

March 29th, 2021

In the final weeks of Term 1, student’s took part in the annual House Cross Country carnival. I was blown away by the participation and effort by all the boys that raced, having a go, and putting in their all. Despite a wet, slippery and muddy 3km course around the school and down to the Mullum Mullum, it was the roaring cheers and support from every participant that, motivated each other to cross the finish line.

I would like to congratulate the amazing efforts of the place getters for each year level.

Year 7:

1st Jamie Alder (Corsini) 12:23

2nd Kaiden Ramirez (Trinity) 12:48

3rd Zac Antonellos (Mantua) 12:54

Year 8:

1st Cameron Ellis (Trinity) 11:17

2nd Sam Feng (Avila) 11:25

3rd Seth O’Malley (Stein) 12:27


Year 9:

1st Luke Wilson (Trinity) 11:56

2nd James Hammerton (Trinity) 11:59

3rd Joel Imbriano (Soreth) 12:10


Year 10:

1st Tariku Natschev (Brandsma) 11:08

2nd Anthony Moule (Avila) 11:29

3rd Tobias Kilkenny (Stein) 11:47

Year 11:

1st Callum White (Corsini) 10:41

2nd Noah Wright (Brandsma) 11:26

3rd Ryan Dickensen (Mantua) 11:43


Year 12:

1st Jack Hartnett (Soreth) 11:10

2nd Lachie Parrott (Trinity) 11:18

3rd Angus Bunker-Smith (Corsini) 11:21


A huge special mention to Year 7 Trinity boys who got down and around the senior race on Wednesday and cheered the older boys on, regardless of the wet cold weather. Also, a huge thank you to all the staff and teachers helped around the day to guide the boys along the course.

Since missing the Cross-Country Season last year I am encouraging anyone to come down to morning trainings next, to further enhance and improve your running at fitness.

It is with Great pleasure that I announce the winners of the 2021 House Cross Country Championship to the house of AVILA.

Well done to Mr Stafford and the Avila boys who were very consistent across all year levels.

Jonas Morrison, Cross Country Captain 2021

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