A thought-provoking International Women’s Day

March 15th, 2021

The Power of Storytelling

Addressing gender inequality in a way that goes beyond tokenism has historically been challenging, particularly in a boys’ school. Is it possible to deliver a feminist message that has male students of every age leaning in and listening, instead of pushing back?

After this week, I can confidently say yes.

Through the power of collaboration, storytelling, and relationships, we may have found the key to addressing gender inequity in a way that promotes self-reflection and true empathy in a lasting way.
In preparation for International Women’s Day, a passionate group of senior students and staff (both male and female), gathered to create a new way to promote gender equality within our College. The senior students were adamant that the voices heard on International Women’s Day this year, should be just that – the Women in our community.

Together we decided to film a series of interviews, with the aim of educating the students and staff about the complex difficulties of being a woman at a boys’ school. The interviews were cut into three 8-minute episodes, shown each morning in pastoral care.

They answered questions such as “Have you been treated a particular way because of your gender?”, “Have you ever felt intimidated at this school?”, “Why is International Women’s Day relevant at Whitefriars?” and “What can we do to create positive change?”

It was a true display of female empowerment, brought about by student agency and the result was even better than we could have hoped.

You could hear a pin drop in the classroom as the videos were playing, every set of eyes glued to the screen. The students were respectful, receptive, and attentive. The videos prompted many discussions, even in the school yard. They allowed other female staff to recall instances where they had personally faced accounts of gender discrimination and gave staff members the opportunity to help educate students about a variety of issues facing women not only in our school or Australian context, but around the world.

A heartfelt thankyou to the people involved in bringing this production together. I hope that this momentum continues, and we can do more positive work in the space of gender equality throughout the year.


Mrs Kelly Hoinville-Catania

Coordinator – Student Activities


Kickstart for Middle Years Student Leadership

March 15th, 2021

On 3rd March, the Middle Years Captains accompanied by Mrs Hoinville, went to Marcelin College to attend a Leadership Development Day.

We had opportunities to meet and work with male and female students from other schools such as Sion, Santa Maria, Marcellin, Xavier, Parade and Emmaus.

We started the day off getting into groups that consisted of students from the different Colleges. We introduced ourselves through a series of ice breaker activities. These consisted of questions like “if you could have dinner with 3 different people who they would be?”, “if you could be one person for a day who it would be” and “who is your role model?”.

As the day went on, we were able to work and collaborate with the other students. We got to know the others better through a school tour and throughout our free time. Later, everyone worked in groups to identify what it means to be a leader and what qualities you want to be viewed as having as a leader.

Hearing from different student’s perspectives helped us develop our own leadership, adding to our ideas and goals for 2021. We were told messages of what a leader is. It’s not about the badge, it is about what they do that really counts.  A leader is someone who works to do the right thing, not lay back because they have the badge. It was really emphasised about badges on the day, and how you don’t need one to be a leader in your community.

To finish off the presentation we were provided an opportunity to plan out our goals for 2021. As a team, we planned out what we are doing tomorrow, next week, next month and next term. This session helped us get the ball rolling with some of our ideas. It was a fantastic way for us to set ourselves up for the year and keep ourselves on track.

In our Action Plan, we started with what we wanted to do tomorrow; to have a meeting to work out the logistics of our ideas. We then planned for what we wanted to achieve a week from now, then in a months’ time the event would be held. We also decided to plan a review of the event for next term to see what we could have done better and improve for next time.

Overall, this was a fantastic day and it helped us to not only get on track, but to also see what some of the other schools were doing, prompting us with some new ideas of our own.

Thanks to Marcellin for hosting such an amazing event, we hope there will be another one throughout the year.


Written by

Maximillion Ceppi – Middle Years Captain

Jack Apostolopoulos – Middle Years Vice Captain

James Hammerton – Middle Years Vice Captain



A visit from St Bede’s Primary School

March 15th, 2021

‘Professional Sharing’ was on the agenda for visiting Learning Diversity staff from St Bede’s Primary School in North Balwyn. Our Whitefriars College Learning Diversity team shared their professional approaches to providing support for students with specific needs and disability.

Both Whitefriars College and St Bede’s staff reflected on the Catholic principles of Horizons of Hope, in their work with diverse students, including, embracing difference and diversity, building a culture of learning together, and committing to achieving the highest standards possible based on reflective practice. Staff considered the NCCD processes developed, to ensure that the curriculum is accessible to all students.

We were fortunate to be joined by the Principal, Mark Murphy, and the Deputy Principal, Learning and Teaching, Mark Ashmore, to welcome the group and speak further about the importance of equitable access and opportunity for diverse learners. We would like to thank Amanda Martin at St Bede’s for helping to coordinate this professional learning opportunity.


Mrs Simone Livingstone

Learning Leader – Learning Diversity

Maths Week 2021

March 15th, 2021

Last week the Mathematics Faculty celebrated Maths Week. This year’s theme was ‘Mathematics for a Better World’.

Activities ranged from the annual Tetris Tournament to the Uno Battle of the Houses. This year also featured the ‘daily challenge’ which was a huge success with an average of over 200 responses per day.

Highlights included a visit from Swinburne University with some exciting engineering-based challenges with Athan Stefanos, Roger Luo, William Robin and Jonas Morrison taking out the challenge. We were fortunate enough to have Mitchell Guest (Old Collegian), who is an ambassador for Swinburne, come out facilitate the challenge.

Harrison Pex of L3 became our new Tetris champion beating all other students (including Deputy Principal Mr Mark Ashmore) in his path. In one of the great Tetris performances in Whitefriars history, Harrison faced two of our former grand masters Luke Carletti and Mr Wood in the Grand Final, as well as the in-form Adam Scutella who had recently bested him in the 1st round. Rising up against adversity after qualifying for the Preliminary Final as the wildcard, Harrison etched his name into the record books with a truly scintillating performance.

The activities were extremely well supported by students. Success of Maths Week is a team effort with special mention to those the run an activity each day and include Mr Paul Garriga (Tetris Tournament), Ms Samantha Riddle (House Battle), Mr Ashley Payne (Swinburne Presentation) and Ben Costello (VCE Kahoot Challenge) for coordinating and organising the various activities.

Well done to Ms Samantha Riddle (Learning Leader – Maths) and Ben Costello (Maths Captain) in particular who orchestrated this event on behalf of the boys.




The Resilience Project – Gratitude

March 15th, 2021

As you will be aware, the school has taken on The Resilience Project as part of the Wellbeing Program to help develop resilient and happy young men. One of the key principles of this program is Gratitude. Practicing gratitude is a way of focussing on the positive things in our lives and appreciating what we have rather than what we don’t have. I encourage parents/guardians to bring this theme into their homes and work in partnership with the College in helping your sons develop a sense of hope – a powerful mindset in the health and wellbeing of any person. The following link contains information about the significant benefits of gratitude; Gratitude. Below is a list of questions which parents/guardians can use with their sons:


Mr Mick Lafferty

Deputy Principal – Students

Speak words of comfort…

March 12th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

Every morning over tea and toast, I have a quick flick through the paper to ensure I keep up with the news of the day. I have to say it is not often an uplifting experience. Concerning issues on a global, national and local level, dominate. Issues we cannot shy away from or ignore. Issue too which must be confronted, understood and acted upon. Even my beloved bombers have not given me cause for much joy in recent times!

In the midst of all this we are in the season of Lent in our Church Calendar. A season where we are supposed to stop, reflect and prepare for that most hope filled of moments in our Church; Easter. But in these troubling times it is hard to feel hopeful.

Our good friend Pope Francis encourages us to be hope-filled people during this time. In his Lenten message Francis tells us…

“In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation.”

But how is this possible when things appear a little bleak? The answer, Francis believes, lay in the idea of reconciliation. He says that if we seek forgiveness from God and from those we have wronged, we in turn can spread forgiveness to others. So, the challenge Francis provides us during this time is to…speak words of comfort, strength, consolation, and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn”.  Easier said than done, I know, but an action which could be quite liberating all the same.

Whitefriars is a place that continues to provide me with a great sense of hope both in the present and for the future. I am filled with hope when I see young men engaging thoughtfully and respectfully in the week of activities and discussion presented to them in recognition and Celebration of International Women’s Day, which occurred this week. I am inspired too, when I see a group of committed students come together, dedicated to the care of our planet as part of our Environmental and Social Justice partnership with Catholic Ladies College (CLC) Eltham. The aim of this group is for students to come together to discuss, plan and complete environment and social justice projects in our communities.

Whitefriars is a place too, where our young men thrive and challenge themselves through a wide range of activities and initiatives. Many of our students have a passion for music, both in front of and behind, the microphone. I would like to highlight three students in particular who not only have supported our music program here at Whitefriars but who also demonstrate their talents for singing and leadership beyond the gates of our school. I would like to congratulate three Whitefriars Boys who have been granted leadership positions in the 2021 National Boys Choir leadership team. Well done to:


Mr Mark Murphy


STEW Club Slime Making

March 12th, 2021

On Wednesday 10 March, the STEW club met once again, this time to make some slime. Students who had an interest in chemistry, and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, came down to participate. We were given two mixtures, one containing borax solution and other a glue solution. We had to measure out each one and combine them together to create the slime. We added in our choice of dye and different colour glitters to make the slime sparkle and glow in the light. In the end, a variety of colours were made, from sparkling blues to a dull green. Students who came then got to take their slime home in a zip lock bag to play around with at home. All in all, it was an interesting experience for all of us and we all had a blast.


Joshua Tapley

Science and Technologies Captain


Clean Up Schools Week 2021

March 12th, 2021

The annual Clean Up Schools Day cleanupschools.org.au event was celebrated over an entire week at Whitefriars from 1–5 March! House Waste Championship, Robot Waste Wrangling and Clean Up Schools Scavenger Hunt were organised by the amazing Environment Captains Yianni and Roger.

Congratulations to Soreth House for taking out the 2021 House Waste Championship! The results were: 1st Soreth House (7.2kg), 2nd Brandsma House (3.7kg), equal 3rd Corsini and Edith Stein House (0.45kg), 5th Trinity House (0.175kg) and equal 6th Avila and Lisieux House (0kg). Well done to the following students for volunteering their lunchtimes to keep the school grounds waste free: Daniel V (11S), Will J (12S), Ollie M (7S), Connor D (7S), Sione G (7S), Paul H (11EStein), Jason O (11C), Lachlan D (9T), Oscar B (9T), Liam D (7S), Josh H (7S), Chris F (7S), Jack P (7S), Jack H (7S) and Parker L (7S).

Congratulations to Ollie M (7S) for controlling his robot in the fastest time (2mins 40sec) to sort and deliver different waste to the recycle, soft plastics and landfill bins. Well done to the students who enjoyed this activity put on by the Science, Technology and Environment at Whitefriars Group. The scavenger hunt included students racing through the college ground to collect clues and waste. Well done to all involved!

Clean Up Schools Day theme was Step Up to Clean Up. The Sustainability and Environment Team encourages the college community to “Step Up” by continuing great waste habits, such as reducing landfill waste as much as possible by recycling soft plastics, recycling items and food scraps and trying to purchase items that aren’t disposable.

Helpful waste sites include:

Recycle and mystery items: RecycleSmart app recyclesmart.com

Soft plastics: redcycle.com.au

Organic waste: compostrevolution.com.au

Many thanks to Yianni, Roger and Harry for encouraging the many students to “Step Up” and making the week a success. Thank you to Mrs Carboon, Mr Berryman and Dr Goodall for their assistance at Robot Waste Wrangling activity and Miss Ross and Mr Freeman for promoting the House event.


Mrs Jo Menzies

Sustainability & Environment Team




Leading Learning – Student Perspectives (2)

March 12th, 2021

Our Senior Years students continue to be role models for our younger students regarding learning.

Record numbers of students are gathering in the Academic Study Centre and the Library after school with the focus on study. Students are collaborating to gain understanding or are working independently to further exploration of questions or topics learnt in class, complete ongoing assessment or class tasks, prepare for assessments or classes in following days. The consolidation of work and planning for classes and assessments is evident.

Our senior students and Old Collegians have begun the Elias Tutoring Program sessions. Students being tutored have enjoyed the initial session and feel that it has already been beneficial to their learning. Further details regarding the Elias Tutoring Program can be obtained by contacting our Student Activities Coordinator, Kelly Hoinville khoinville@whitefriars.vic.edu.au

Mathematics Week, led by the Mathematics Captain, Benjamin Costello, Mathematics Learning Leader Sam Riddle and the Mathematics teachers provided entertainment and challenge for students and staff. My attempts to overcome students in the Tetris challenges was short lived!

In this second article, I introduce our remaining Academic Captains for 2021. I wish them all the best in their leadership roles.


Name Leadership Role What would you like to achieve in your role in 2021? What strategies are you going to use to create a learning culture in the learning area or school?

Alexander Dodds

Languages Captain I would like to get more people to continue doing a language next year. Always try and help others if anyone is struggling

Hugh Steer

Commerce Captain I would like to be a strong figure my peers can look to, and someone that can be there for others I will always seek to help others when I can see they are struggling, and try to lead classes in and around the school

Marcus Florio

Humanities Captain I would like to be a good role model for the younger students as well as getting people involved with Humanities Organising events surrounding my captaincy role to get people involved.

Hayden Menzies

Chess Captain I would like to promote chess in general while working with Ms. Powling and Mr. Payne to organize tournaments including an interschool one. I would also like to help give students a voice and to pass on any ideas they have. Setting a good example of studying and working hard

Harry Rooney


Tech Production Captain To bring more awareness to not only my role but to what it involves and how other younger students can get involved. Allowing for students to come try out everything to do with the technical side of a production as it is a very practical learning area and allowing boys to try it out and have fun doing it will create a positive and inclusive learning culture.

Domenico Lepore

English Captain I would like to be involved as much as possible in bringing more into the English cohort. At the moment, I am currently partaking in the debating competition and are acting as the spokesperson for various English activities, but I ultimately want to enrich the activities involved with the English faculty to give it more of a presence in the school. This includes establishing new activities that involve all year levels, such as the junior years; perhaps providing that interest in English at a younger age may encourage them to continue that path in the future. Foremost, I will be balancing my schoolwork with my captaincy commitments so I can thoroughly work on both areas. From there, I will keep in close contact with the head of English and other related staff to keep ideas going. By keeping organised and actually putting forth the initiative, I can successfully enrich the learning culture of English extracurricular activities.

Benjamin Costello

Mathematics Captain I would like to give back to the school and set an example for the younger year levels. I role model good learning habits and encourage students to do their best and get the best possible result.

Miguel Trujillo


Music Captain To encourage a greater involvement in students in the WFC music program. Encouraging achievers and supporting students who make effort, making opportunities for students to have input and feel involved in their learning as well as creating more chances for students to apply their learning.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning

IWD@Our Lady of Sion College

March 12th, 2021

On Friday 5 March, Vice Captains Alex and Baxter, Ministry & Social Justice Captain Peter and myself, were invited to join Our Lady of Sion College for their celebration of International Women’s Day. This was a such a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the partnership between our two schools and enrich our appreciation and respect for all the women in our lives.

We started the day by distributing awareness-ribbons with the Sion senior student leaders. Following this, we gathered in small groups with various staff and student leaders in a ‘conversation cafe’. We discussed a range of prompts, focussing on identifying gender stereotypes, the issue of consent and equality in relationships. These prompts fostered thought-provoking, robust conversations that inspired action around improving gender equality, our connection with Sion and provided ways forward to address gender issues in our schools, local community and in wider society.

These conversations were insightful, informing us on many of the issue’s women face in school, the workplace, in society. They also provided us the opportunity to share our own hopes and questions and how we can strive to overcome them. The captains and I were deeply appreciative of the staff and students of Sion for their hospitality and openness. In the future we look to broaden our conversations on gender equity, and continue to hope to foster these important issues among our peers.


Charlie Schroder

College Captain


How do we all allow God’s grace to enter?

February 26th, 2021

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

There are those moments in all our lives when we have important decisions to make and we are not sure which way to turn. But then, all of a sudden, we have a moment of clarity, of epiphany even, which sets us on the right path and gives us the confidence we need to move forward. Such a moment befell me last week.

Even before the news broke last Wednesday, of a return to on site learning, as a leadership team we were discerning whether we should go ahead with our House Athletics carnival. Our prime concern was the safety of our students and staff. Could we provide an environment where over 1,100 boys and 150 staff would be safely brought together within the appropriate COVID protocols? To support us in our decision we took advice from the experts, we read the protocols provided by DHHS and Catholic Education and I consulted some Principal Colleagues. The answer was still not clear.

We eventually headed over to the College Gymnasium to discuss the matter with our Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator of Sport Kristan Height and Ali Rock. Even after all this perspicacity and discussion, I still was not clear on the direction we should take. Then I spied a basketball on the court, so I picked it up and we started throwing some baskets. In that moment, I looked around and the group was smiling and laughing, having put aside for a moment, the reason we were there. Then it came to me. Didn’t our students and staff deserve this same moment? To put aside all the challenges and anxieties that we face and to just go out and have fun. Then the decision was as clear as day.

Some may say that all we needed was a ‘circuit breaker’ to assist as in coming to the right response. Personally, I like to think that these moments are the work of the Holy Spirit or perhaps the Grace of God. Sometimes we need to stop in those difficult moments, when the way ahead is not clear and breath, reflect, pray or shoot some hoops. It’s all the same thing. Because that is the moment, we allow the spirit to enter in to do the rest.

It is one thing to make a decision, it is another all together to put it into practice. From the moment the decision was made, our community swung into action. Kristan Height and Ali Rock were already set to go having put in place every contingency and protocol to ensure a successful day. Our wonderful House Leaders had were mobilised and ready to unleash the spirit of their Houses. Our staff arrived on the day fully committed to ensuring our students experience would be enjoyable and safe. Then there were the boys themselves, full of energy, gratitude and a strong passion for their house which inspired them to run, jump, throw and cheer their way through the day. What more could we ask for? At the end of the day I looked back and wondered how we could ever have thought that this may not have been a good idea!

A prayer which inspires me and which I quote often is the prayer for St. Oscar Romero which says:

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

The question I leave us all with today is this:

How do we all allow God’s grace to enter and to do the rest?


Mr Mark Murphy



Leading Learning – Student Perspectives

February 26th, 2021

Earlier in the week, I had an amazing experience discussing learning at Whitefriars with our College Academic Captains. In sharing a meal, dialogue flowed as to how our student leaders see their place in the College in leading and developing a learning culture for students in Years 7 to 12. We are blessed to have such wonderful and articulate men in our community who are passionate about learning, their subjects, and serving others. Mr Murphy, Mr Lafferty, Mr Clifford and I were all buoyed by the hope, optimism and enthusiasm of each of our student leaders.

Each leader spoke eloquently about their understanding of the Academic Captain role – to be a role model for all students, promote the academic learning area, encourage students to achieve their best, and to have discussions with boys to open their mind to the different opportunities and pathways. At the same time, they also articulated the notion that they too had to progress themselves with their academic pursuits.

Collectively, the boys spoke of how they were each going to promote global leadership, intercultural understanding and learning. Each captain spoke of the myriad of activities, learning area weeks, clubs, performances, and competitions that they are involved in leading across the College. Likewise, they too understand the importance of their role at Open Day, Activities Week, subject selection and morning tours as a vehicle to promote their learning area.

I congratulate our Academic Captains for 2021 and wish them well in their studies and in serving others in our community: Over the next three In Fide’s, I will introduce each of our Academic Captains.

Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal


Student Leadership Role What would you like to achieve in your role in 2021? What strategies are you going to use to create a learning culture in the learning area or school?

Simon Kruyer


Drama Captain


To inspire more students to get involved in the drama learning area. If there is a performance coming up, some actors could preview a scene from the play at a lunchtime on the canteen decking and students can watch, if they like what they see they can come watch the full play. if they enjoy the play, they might want to participate in plays thus increasing student interest.

Callum Tham

Music Captain Bring a greater focus to music at our school.
Foster budding musicians of every genre.
Provide greater flexibility for the types music that students wish to play.
Introduce a Digital Music Production club.
Attend and assist at junior rock workshop.

Look for students who enjoy playing music and have musical talent

Make music both a social and a learning environment. Music is learnt better this way because it makes people want to practice. e.g. allow younger students during music in smaller groups but still provide a deadline for performances as this still motivates them.

Joshua Tapley

Science and Technology Captain I would like to encourage younger students to participate in STEW club Introduce more practical and fun activities for Middle Years students. Most kids enjoy the hands-on aspect of science and exploring things concepts and ideas through observation. Try and get them to learn of each other through observation. Students ask the questions

Witton Liang

Science Captain I would like to promote science subjects within the school. Increase practical activities that correlate to different year levels in science.

Henry Ameer

Health and PE Captain As the inaugural captain for Health and PE, I hope to learn from my mistakes and better myself individually. I also hope to build a pathway for the following Health and PE captains to ensure they are successful in their endeavours. I will access and require the help of the staff, students and rest of the Student Representative Council, much like they will require my help.

Nicholas Stackpole

Drama Captain I would like to bring new interest and life to the performing arts learning area so that it thrives in the future. I would like to get more students to participate in performing arts and to bring more awareness to my area.


en English