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Summer 2016



GRIFFIN Summer 2016

CREDITS All correspondence relating to editorial content please address to: Marketing and Development Office Salesian College Chadstone, 10 Bosco Street Chadstone, VIC 3148 publicrelations Editor: Suzie McErvale Editorial Assistance: Nikita Rodrigues Proofreader: Dr Mavis Ford, La Trobe University

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Front Cover: Rob Lindblade Photography Printing: MPrint Photographic Contributions: Br Barry Parker Rob Lindblade Photography Perth 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships Catholic Theological College, Melbourne Anita Milas, Melbourne Victory Football Club Ashley Perez Photography Graphic Design: Stu Fountain, Mud Group

Editorial Contributions: Robert Brennan Fr Frank Bertagnolli John Visentin Rhea Beurs Nadia Knight Suzie McErvale Domenic Scarpino Steve Sellwood Nikita Rodrigues Ian McKail


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Past student (Class of 1964) Commodore Alan Thompson, Member of the Order of Australia (AM), previous Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, and retired (RTD) member of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). More page 12. Page 19

SHARE A STORY We seek out past and present students who inspire and encourage us to strengthen our Salesian community. Whether they have impacted thousands of people or just those nearby, what unites them are their foundations and values. If you have a story to share, or know someone who does, we want to hear from you. Email publicrelations@

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From the Principal Page 6

Commitment to Faith and Service Page 8

2016 Valedictory and 2017 Announcements Page 10

Finding Meaning

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As we prepare to shine a light on our 60 year celebrations, the theme of the 2016 Summer Edition of the Griffin, Commitment to Service, rings true. Our tapestry is rich in commitment to service, from the early Salesians who founded the school, the educators and students throughout the decades who made their mark, to the current people of today who contribute and continue to drive this College forward.

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The focus of this issue unfolded after a conversation with a past student and practising solicitor, who put forward the suggestion of featuring former Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, Commodore Alan Thompson, and his impact on the legal field and the Australian Defence Force.

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Alan’s experience spans close to three decades, with a specific impact on personnel policy development. He speaks with eloquence, humility and sincerity, and exhibits old fashioned manners. He makes a point of citing the turning point in his life at an Assembly address by 1962 Rector, Fr Alan McDonald. Expressing hope that his experience encourages young men now at the College who may be struggling, Alan reveals the lesson that “a change in attitude and habit is within us all”. He also acknowledges the gracious guidance of Fr Bill Edwards and his adored Mum, a profoundly Catholic woman, whose example of the daily living of Catholic values still continues to affect his behaviour.

Caravan Partnership and VCAL Project Kicking Goals with Melbourne Victory In Honour of Anthony Tony Johnston Page 21

Commitment to Service

Staff Weddings, Babies and Achievements

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Visit to the Home of the 2016 AFL Premiers


Hall of Fame and Reunion News


In line with Alan’s commitment to service to Australia, this Issue celebrates members of the Salesian Order who have had significant years of service at Chadstone. As a community we celebrate their contributions and loyalty. At a recent school event, our 2017 College Captain, Stefano Mascaro, spoke about the culture of the College; “when one of us succeeds, we rejoice. When one of us feels pain, we share that burden”. These two sentences resonated. My mind wandered back to that crippling day on Thursday 23 June this year, when we lost one of our own, a true Salesian gentleman, educator, colleague and friend, Anthony Johnston. This was Tony’s 18th year at the College, and the community outpouring of emotion was testament to his character. As fellow colleague and close friend, Ian McKail, recounts in his tribute, “Tony Johnston had a permanent twinkle in his eye… he was celebrated for making things better on many levels”. We pay tribute to Tony in this Issue, to his unwavering commitment to his students and his colleagues, and to the service that was such a big part of his life. These are the connections and stories that make up our community. Suzie McErvale Head of Development and Marketing


GRIFFIN Summer 2016


“Our commitment can lead us to look beyond ourselves and to step into real relationships with others.”

Robert Brennan Principal Charles Stanley once said, “Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.” In this issue of the Griffin, we acknowledge members of the Salesian College Chadstone family whose actions contest this belief. Before undertaking the task of writing such an article I chose to do a little research, find a few quotes and just generally get my head around the theme of commitment. I reflected on an essay written by Bleri Lleshi, a political philosopher based in Belgium. Whilst not necessarily agreeing with his political viewpoint, I feel that he makes a number of valid points, and does a great job of unpacking the need for commitment. We witness extraordinary examples of deep commitment every day, often commitments stronger than many of us can comprehend. The commitment of students to their studies, of staff to students, people who commit to each other in marriage, and, importantly, the commitment of Salesian priests and brothers to

not only their jobs and the people they come into contact with, but also their most profound commitment to their faith. These are all strong examples of committed people. The people reported on in this edition of the Griffin are different in many ways from the general populace. Their commitment shines more brightly because it is a commitment to others. These are people who dedicate their lives to and for other people. In some ways people’s commitment to each other through marriage is of the highest order, as there is no better example of commitment than to witness couples who have been married for decades and have committed themselves to each other for life. Nor is there a more passionate example of commitment than the people who commit themselves to a sport, either as participants or supporters. These people are also worthy of mention, and I should know as a long suffering, but fully committed supporter of the Richmond Football club. Commodore Alan Thompson, featured in this edition, is a man who has demonstrated enormous commitment throughout his life, in his unwavering commitment to his family and to his country. Alan entered the Royal Australian

Navy in 1972, and ascended the ranks to eventually be promoted to Commodore in 1991. He was appointed chief lawyer for the Defence Force in 1993, before becoming Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, in 1994. In his time in this position, he became a member of the 2000 Sydney Olympics Security Committee. Commodore Alan Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January, 1993 for his outstanding commitment to Defence Force personnel policy development. I also wish to acknowledge five members of the Salesian Chadstone community who celebrated significant anniversaries this year. Their dedication, service, apostolic witness and willingness to walk with the students, guiding and nurturing them into good Christians and honest citizens, is truly an example of commitment to others. Fr Frank Bertagnolli - 60 Years of Religious Profession and 50 Years of Priestly Ordination, Fr Oreste Cantamessa - 50 Years of Priestly Ordination, Fr Elio Capra - 40 Years of Priestly Ordination, Fr John Gandini - 50 Years of Religious Profession and 40 Years of Priestly Ordination and Br Joe Ellul - 65 Years of Religious Profession.

The focus of this issue of the Griffin is the theme of commitment, illustrated by examples of past and present staff and students who have demonstrated commitment to others because, quite simply, commitment is a rare commodity in today’s world, and is something that is sorely needed. These men challenge individualism, inequality, exclusion and poverty. Their witness is selfless and for the greater good. They challenge the ‘every man for himself’ context in which we live. For many of us, it is difficult to understand the commitment of others. Often we cannot give an exact reason for our own commitment to something. Sometimes it’s easier to explain what our commitment serves, but to explain the underlying reasons is far more difficult. It becomes clear that when we understand that commitment can mean being in contact with the other, and being busy with someone other than ourselves. Through this, we can experience personal growth. Our commitment can lead us to look beyond ourselves and to step into real relationships with others. Equally important is that, through our commitment, we can obtain a place in the world; we develop a sense of purpose.


As a College community, we are very proud of the ongoing commitment of our staff and students who continue to achieve great things, demonstrating excellence in their chosen fields through commitment, persistence and effort. Whether it is through their academic pursuits,

sporting endeavours, performances on stage or their tackling of social justice issues, in their leadership, their approach to College retreats and liturgies, the commitment of all members of the community cannot be questioned. I leave you with the words of Barack Obama, “We,

the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks ‘What’s in it for me?’, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding

ideals, and those who died in their defense.” God bless, and I hope you enjoy this edition of the Griffin.


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

COMMITMENT TO FAITH AND SERVICE Fr Frank Bertagnolli Rector Next year Salesian College Chadstone will celebrate its 60th birthday, having opened its doors for the first time in 1957. In those pioneering days, all the teachers were Salesian priests and brothers. Now their names are recorded on metal plaques affixed to a column inside the College Chapel. Today only a few Salesians are still working as staff members at this College, but the spirit, tradition, Salesian ethos, family atmosphere, commitment and presence of Salesians are still evident today, and will remain into the future. The Salesian community lives in a residence on campus. There are seven Salesians sharing their life in common, and carrying out a variety of apostolates. For several Salesians in our community, 2016 marked special anniversaries.

Brother Joe Ellul is the oldest member of our community. This year he has celebrated 65 years of Salesian life. Br Joe has spent a third of those years at Salesian College in the role of Science Teacher. These days he has given up teaching, but he is still a faithful and much-loved presence among the boys in the school yard. He also helps out with the security, the maintenance and cleaning of the College. The old “gumbies” have adopted a new name, but are doing similar work - at a “cost”!

Fr Oreste Cantamessa has been a member of the community and an active teacher in the senior classes for many years. This year Father has celebrated 50 years of priesthood. He is still teaching Physics classes in Years 11 and 12. It seems as if the clock has stopped for him, and the passing of time has not wearied him!

Fr Elio Capra is a member of this community, but is involved in lecturing at Catholic Theological College, and in providing professional development sessions for staff in Catholic schools all over Australia, and in sacramental programs for parents in parishes. Fr Elio celebrated 40 years as a priest, and has kept a strong association with the students he taught at Salesian College some years ago. (Image: Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, 2016)


Fr John Gandini has been a member of this community for a few years, and his role is that of assisting the Italian community at Oakleigh and Clayton with religious services. In this work he supports Fr Julian Cavarzan, and will replace Fr Julian later in the year when he retires in Italy. Fr John hails from Perth in WA, and this year he also celebrated 40 years as a priest, and 50 years as a Salesian.

Fr Julian Cavarzan has been a member of the Salesian Community for 52 years. For about half of those years, Father taught in the College, before concentrating full-time on the religious care of the Italian community in Eastern Melbourne. The students to whom he taught Italian, and the boys who played in his soccer teams, have never forgotten him. At the end of October Fr Julian retired and returned to Italy.

Fr Frank Bertagnolli is the current Rector of the Salesian community and of the College. His role in the college is that of Chaplain, assisting with religious services, celebration of the Sacraments, providing resources to staff, and ensuring that the Salesian ethos is maintained in the College. This year Fr Frank celebrated 60 years as a Salesian, and 50 years as a priest.

Brother Barry Parker is also a member of the Salesian community and a valued member of staff in the Technology department of the College. Br Barry has provided a great service to Salesian College Chadstone in his 5 years here, having taken many thousands of photos at our College events. Brother Barry has a few more years to catch up with the other “jubilarians� in the community!


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

2016 VALEDICTORY ASSEMBLY AND 2017 ANNOUNCEMENTS John Visentin Deputy Principal At the beginning of Term Four, the Year 12 Class of 2016 marked the end of their years of compulsory schooling with a number of celebrations and ceremonies. These young men have distinguished themselves as they have gone through the College, and appropriately finished their days as students of Salesian College Chadstone in style. The Valedictory Assembly was preceded earlier with a Year 12 breakfast that allowed the boys to signify the start of their VCE examination period with a meal and social time together. The Assembly celebrated the achievements of boys in their academic studies in Units 3 and 4 and in VCAL. In his Valedictory address, College Captain, Joshua Knight, thanked the College, parents and fellow students for the support provided to the Year 12s over the course of their journey at Salesian College. He also challenged the boys at other year levels to take on a positive attitude and engage themselves fully in all that the College offers. At the Valedictory Assembly the final results for the various House Shields and the overall House Champion were announced and presented.

Year 12 students who have achieved the highest SAC and SAT subject results were presented with certificates and medallions at the Assembly to mark their achievements. Whilst the most important VCAA examinations were still to come, being the highest ranked student in one or more subjects at a College of considerable academic standard is a significant accomplishment, and one we rightly acknowledged and celebrated as the Year 12s finished. The list of award winners is shown below:

Further Mathematics Dominic Pham

1. Savio 2. Moroney 3. Collinson 4. Annecy

Studio Arts Daniel De Blasis

Psychology David Luong

Visual Communication Design Tim Tith

Mathematical Methods Deeshan Ambawatta

Cultural Shield

Media Studies Larry Genovese

The final results were as follows:

Academic Shield 1. Moroney 2. Collinson 3. Annecy 4. Savio

Sport Shield 1. Moroney 2. Annecy 3. Collinson 4. Savio

Citizenship Shield

1. Annecy 2. Savio 3. Moroney 4. Collinson

Physics Jackson Turnbull

Health and Human Development Jai Lambrou Music Performance Matthew Braham English as an Additional Language Javid Mohammadi Literature Patrick Scott VCAL Samuel Kee Informatics David Luong

Specialist Mathematics Deeshan Ambawatta Product Design and Technology Nicholas Stevens

Chemistry Systems Engineering Madukapriya Silva Nicholas Stevens

Final Overall Positions and 2016 House Cup

Interactive Digital Media Christopher Alevizos

Physical Education Sasi Wijewardana

1. Moroney 2. Savio + Collinson 3. Annecy

Italian Jake Dell’Arciprete

English Sasi Wijewardana

Accounting Legal Studies Christos Romios Sasi Wijewardana Australian History Michael Te Economics Bryan Viegas Business Management Noel Crouch


2017 Captain, Stefano Mascaro (centre) and Vice-Captains, Peter Pamouktsis (left) and Lachlan Magee (right)

2016 Captain, Joshua Knight (right) and Vice-Captains, Nathan Antonucci (left) and Edwin Saravanapavaan (centre)

2016 House Cup Winners (Moroney)

Academic and Sport Shields (Moroney)

Cultural Shield (Annecy)

Citizenship Shield (Savio)

“We honour all the boys who have contributed in their own unique and significant way during their Salesian College Chadstone journey.� We also acknowledge all the boys who have tried their hardest and significantly improved their understanding and results over the year. We honour all those boys who have contributed in their own unique and significant way during their Salesian College Chadstone journey. Congratulations to each and every one of them. The official year culminated for our Year 12s at the Valedictory Dinner, where parents and staff joined the boys to reflect on their journey and to celebrate achievements. We wish the Year 12 Class of 2016 every success in their VCE final results and for all their future endeavours.

Cultural Ambassador Jack Robertson Mission Ambassador Justin Tan Sports Ambassador Josh Cavallo Academic Ambassador Kevin Tat Annecy Captain Dean Dritsas Annecy Vice Captain Julian Russo Collinson Captain Tibin Thampy Collinson Vice Captain James Tighello Moroney Captain Ben Di Cioccio Moroney Vice Captain Adrian Vargiu

As one cohort moves on to the next phase of their lives, a new group of boys are challenged and elevated to take on the responsibilities and honour of leadership at the College. The following boys were announced as leaders for the College in 2017.

Savio Captain Damon Ollerenshaw

College Captain Stefano Mascaro

Music Captain Matias Gonzalez Jara

College Vice Captain Peter Pamouktsis

Drama Captain Bo Tran

College Vice Captain Lachlan Magee

We congratulate the 2017 Student Leadership Team, and look forward to what they will bring to the College in the next academic year.

Savio Vice Captain Stephen Angeloudas Liturgy Captain Anthony Ralogaivau Social Justice Captain Patrick Lov


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

FINDING MEANING Nadia Knight Assistant Principal – Faith and Mission

“The challenge to us all is to bring about a society based on peace and justice and, most importantly, love.”

As educators in the Catholic environment, our mission is about identifying, connecting and making relevant the Gospel to today’s generation, as it has been throughout the centuries. With this comes the challenge to ensure that students know and understand that there are alternatives to the images and values provided to them by contemporary culture. As human beings, we all have dignity and are valuable. Relationships are important, violence is not a solution and racism is unacceptable. The challenge to us all is to bring about a society based on peace and justice and, most importantly, love. There is no doubt that society has changed since the early beginnings of Catholic Education in Australia, and yet the fundamental teachings still remain relevant today. Catholic schools are founded on the person of Jesus, and draw their

inspiration and strength from the Gospel. They draw connections between faith and contemporary culture, and share the task of proclamation. Committed to the growth and development of the whole person, we work with our students to strengthen knowledge, provide them with a supportive community and the opportunity to value the discovery of truth. Young people today have been born into a very different world, and have created a different perspective of the world and how things operate and exist. They have been described as the ‘options generation characterised as moral boundary riders’ (Rymarz 2004, p. 145), who focus on ‘human experience’ and rely on ‘their own resources to create meaning, rather than institutions, ideologies and authorities’ (Rymarz 2004, p. 145). Students

today have formed their Catholic identity vastly differently from in other eras, and, as a result, teaching religious education and nurturing faith are significant challenges for Catholic schools. Our focus is not solely on the teaching of doctrine, but rather evangelisation of the ‘…human person and the human person in their relationships among themselves and with God’ (O’Loughlin, F. 2007, p.409). While society demands a more contemporary approach in the classroom, there is no question that the desire to engage with and formally acknowledge Catholic values and beliefs still today remains strong. Thursday 6 October saw 26 young men receive the Sacraments. Three boys became members of the Catholic Community receiving Baptism, 9 students received their First Communion and 24 boys were filled with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament


of Confirmation. This amazing display of faith is a consequence of the faith filled community that is Salesian College Chadstone. These boys have asked of their own accord to become part of this community by receiving the Sacraments. This engagement is testimony

to their personal faith and the faith that is expressed here at the College. Despite the challenges before us, we must never lose sight of the importance of faith in our lives and in the lives of our boys. We want for them a personal relationship with God that begins with knowing

His Son, Jesus Christ. We want for them an understanding that, although our earthly relationships change, Jesus is changeless. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. References O’Loughlin, F. (2007), ‘The New Evangelization for the Twenty First Century’,

Australasian Catholic Record 84 (4), pp. 401-413 Rymarz, R (2004), ‘Lost Generation: The Cultures of Generation X Catholics’, Australasian Catholic Record 81 (2), pp. 144-153.


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

COMMITMENT TO SERVICE Suzie McErvale Head of Development and Marketing

Past student and former Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, Commodore Alan Thompson’s extraordinary commitment to the service of Australia has spanned close to three decades. At the height of his career, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January, 1993 for his outstanding commitment to Defence Force personnel policy development. Alan speaks humbly about his impact on the Australian Defence Force, and the moment on College grounds 54 years ago that became the turning point in understanding that the ability to alter attitudes and habits is within us all. Alan, thank you for your time. It’s a pleasure to see you again. Entering the Royal Australian Navy in 1972, you ascended the ranks to eventually be promoted to Commodore in 1991. You were appointed chief lawyer for the Defence Force in 1993, before becoming Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, in 1994. In your time in this position, you became a member of the 2000 Sydney Olympics Security Committee. Retiring from the Navy in January 1998, you accepted an appointment as a Senior Member of the Veterans’ Review Board. You retired from this appointment in 2008. It’s clear you’ve had an illustrious career, and there’s so much I’d like us to talk about. Let’s start with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Why did you join the Navy? After qualifying, I worked as a solicitor for a short time. I was mainly undertaking commercial and matrimonial work. It was dull.

I thought I would eventually go to the Bar, but decided I would do something different for a time, and joined the Navy for four years. I was given significant sea time in my first years. Every day was different and the camaraderie was genuine. I loved it. Lawyers were new to the Navy at that time, and I could see the potential for a strong and diverse career. I stayed for a working lifetime, which allowed me to travel to most parts of the world. As a sideline, I just want to add that at the time I was chief lawyer for the Navy, Group Captain Peter Birtles was the chief lawyer for the Royal Australian Air Force. Peter and I had been classmates at Salesian College, and he was my closest friend at University. I have always liked the symmetry of two Salesian Old Boys arriving at the same place at the same time.

I couldn’t agree more; a great connection. How has the ADF changed from the time you started, to when you finished? I’ll focus on the Navy, but in general there was little difference between the Services. I was required to obtain the permission of my commanding officer to marry (I was aged 29 at the time!). As in any formal letter to a superior, my request concluded with the words, “I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant”. All of the best and most useful traditions have been retained, but those no longer appropriate have gone. There were many changes to the Navy during my time. Apart from important capability changes to the fleet, the most significant relate to the employment of women, workplace behaviour and the place of international law in naval planning and operations.

When I joined, women were excluded from seagoing employment. They did not receive the same pay as their male counterparts. They represented about 5% of the Navy. At the time I retired in 1998, the path to full integration was well developed, and the Service was genuinely committed to increasing the participation of women. Women were serving at sea, including in submarines, and were piloting naval aircraft. There were certainly problems, including entrenched discriminatory attitudes and a number of scandals. Today, there are no gender restrictions, and all employment categories are open to women. Women command major warships and occupy some of the most senior positions in the Service. Despite this, women still represent only about 20% of the Navy. There remains an obvious need to place a greater emphasis on recruiting women.


“[When] I was chief lawyer for the Navy, Group Captain Peter Birtles was the chief lawyer for the Royal Australian Air Force. Peter and I had been classmates at Salesian College, and he was my closest friend at University. I have always liked the symmetry of two Salesian Old Boys arriving at the same place at the same time.�


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

At the time I joined the Navy, the Service valued fairness and decent behaviour, but in a robust sense. The focus was on rank and command. This meant that there were unacceptable systemic, cultural and attitudinal behaviours embedded in the Service. At this time, there was no preventative strategy for addressing unacceptable behaviour, and the notion of equity and diversity was an utterly foreign concept. In the early 1990s, due to internal scandals and external pressure, change began. The Navy as a whole began to understand more clearly what is good and right. It has taken time, but today the Navy has a sophisticated grasp of equity and diversity, and has a solid foundation in implementing acceptable workplace behaviour. International laws are interesting dynamics. I assume that element came into play? Absolutely. As a newly joined lawyer, it was apparent to me that my superiors thought that the most significant part of my work would involve appearing before courts-martial. They had little understanding of the influence of international law on sea power. It was not until the early 1980s that senior naval officers began to grasp the relationship between naval operations and international law. This led also to higher learning opportunities for naval lawyers in this discipline. I was fortunate to spend some time in Italy as a student at the International Institute for Humanitarian law. At the time of my retirement, naval lawyers played an integral part in operational planning, and were routinely deployed on major operations.

You were integral to Personnel Policy development. What did this involve? I was positioned within the Headquarters of the ADF, and reported on some matters to the Chief of Personnel and on others to the Chief of the Defence Force. My role principally involved developing policies across the ADF relating to drugs, alcohol, sexuality, sex discrimination, assisting Defence families, redress of grievances, honours and awards, education and training and non-financial conditions of service. It was a broad portfolio. In regards to the political climate during your years of service and 24 years on, how would you describe it? There are many layers to this question, but overall I don’t think it changed much at all during my service. Successive governments maintained self-reliance as the main tenet of defence policy. At a working level, there were always tensions between Government and Defence, and within Defence. The Defence organisation is massive, and difficult for Government to control. The Services always diverged in their fight for a share of the defence budget, for capabilities such as submarines and fighter aircraft. At the same time, the wishes of Government were implemented faithfully. A significant illustration of this principle occurred in 1983. The new Labor Government cancelled the plan to replace the Navy’s sole aircraft carrier. This decision tore at the fabric and soul of the Service. With no aircraft carrier, the structure and concept of operations of the Navy had to change. The Service just got on with it.

“Well, I hope my experience encourages those young men now at the College who may be struggling. A poor start need not define the future. A change in attitude and habits is within us all.”

All that was necessary to carry out the will of Government was done. I do recall one political ripple in which I had some minor involvement. In the early 1980s I was Secretary to the Admiral commanding the Fleet. In an interview with the press he observed critically that the amount of steaming time for the fleet had been limited because of government budget restraints. His superiors made known to him their displeasure, and, as a result, he prepared his resignation for immediate despatch. I decided to take a risk and kept it in my desk overnight. The following morning he agreed it was a good decision. It was. He became Chief of Navy. That was a courageous decision; I’m glad it paid off. How has the Australian public attitude towards the ADF changed over time? There has been some gradual change. At the time I joined, there appeared to me to be a simple public view that the Defence Force had an honourable history of service and was an important national asset. At the time I retired, I think Defence remained in high regard, but the community view was slightly more sophisticated. Some incidents and episodes did not match the public expectations of Defence,

and this disappointment was widely expressed. At the same time, the public seemed to think that the ADF, with its specialised capabilities, had a greater role to play in domestic tasks. This included contributing security at significant domestic events and playing a greater role in State emergency response events. You were awarded a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 1993 for your exceptional service to Defence Force personnel policy development. What did this moment mean to you? It was an unexpected award. I felt some personal satisfaction and pride, but mainly I enjoyed the pleasure it gave my family. They must have been so proud. Going back to school days, you describe an Assembly in 1962 as a turning point. Can you explain what happened and what impact this had on you? I was an undisciplined student in my early years. My results were very poor. The turning point came for me in 1962. Father Rector (Alan McDonald) addressed the students at morning assembly.


We were told that we could work hard now and have an easy life, or have an easy life now and work hard forever. In particular, I recall that he mentioned that there were unlimited openings for street sweepers. Of course, Father McDonald’s message was not fully accurate, but it had a profound effect on my young mind. I became a serious student. You mention that you changed your attitude and habits, post this Assembly experience. What advice can you give to students wanting to do the same? Well, I hope my experience encourages those young men now at the College who may be struggling. A poor start need not define the future. A change in attitude and habits is within us all. Beautifully said. I think that applies to us all. Alan, you credit your Mum as “the most profound influence for good in your life”, as well as Fr Bill Edwards, who identified your potential. Explain the significance of these people in your life. My mother is profoundly Catholic. Her faith burns strongly and radiates to all of her family. Her example of the daily living of Catholic values affects my behaviour every day. I lost my wife, Darian, to breast cancer three years ago. My mother was a tender reminder to me at that time of the spiritual dimension involved in coping with grief. I remember Father Bill Edwards with great affection. Even in my early years as a very poor student, I felt that he saw something in me.

This was probably his gift, recognising the talents of each and every student. I particularly recall his gentle warnings on the dangers of alcohol. In later years, I thought of him when I was asked, as a non-alcoholic, to use some of my skills in assisting Alcoholics Anonymous. I also thought that he might be pleased that I was for a time National Chairman of that wonderful organisation. You were so lucky to have them in your life. Don Bosco said that “our boys must not only be loved, but know that they are loved.” How did you experience this at Salesian College Chadstone? All of my teachers were kindly and gentle. They could be firm in the classroom, as they often needed to be, but I most remember their presence during recreation periods. They would join in our games, or we would gather around them to listen to their jokes and stories. Sometimes it was just a simple one on one chat. It was a wonderful friendly atmosphere, and leads me now to think of them all with great affection. Alan, thank you for taking the time to share your story.

“I remember Father Bill Edwards with great affection… I particularly recall his gentle warnings on the dangers of alcohol. In later years, I thought of him when I was asked, as a non-alcoholic, to use some of my skills in assisting Alcoholics Anonymous. I also thought that he might be pleased that I was for a time National Chairman of that wonderful organisation.”


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

VISIT TO THE HOME OF THE 2016 AFL PREMIERS Domenic Scarpino Head of House Sport Midway through Term Three of this year, our very own Head of Sport, Mr Paul Groves, was offered a fantastic career opportunity to become the Head Coach of the Western Bulldogs Female Team in its inaugural season, beginning in 2017. At the time, Paul was teaching Year 12 Physical Education at the College, and had built up a great rapport with the students in his class. Since his departure, Mr Stephen Sellwood has taken over the class, and, as a surprise to the students, Stephen and Paul organised for the Year 12 PE class to have a walkthrough of the Western Bulldogs’ state of the art training facility, just before their exams were scheduled to begin. On the day of the tour the boys were driven down to Whitten Oval by Stephen and greeted by Paul, where he then began the tour of the Western Bulldogs’ facility. The tour began in the Western Bulldogs’ Museum, where the boys were shown the history of the club. After the museum the boys were shown where the women’s team training sessions would be located, and the facilities they have access to, such as the video room, where the women’s gameplay will be broken down and analysed to help Paul better the structure of the team.

The Year 12 boys asked engaged questions that related to their learning from the year. When it came to recovery and what equipment to use to enhance an athlete’s skill and ability, Paul gave the boys valuable insight into the elite sports environment. Paul was also able to ask the boys questions relating to their studies, which was great to help students apply their knowledge to their future work.

The tour concluded with the boys meeting Western Bulldogs legend, Chris Grant. Chris conveyed knowledge about the club and topical development updates on the 2017 Women’s Team and competition. On behalf of the College we would like to thank Stephen, Paul and the Western Bulldogs Football Club for facilitating access to the home of the 2016 AFL Premiers.

“[Western Bulldogs legend] Chris [Grant] conveyed knowledge about the club and topical development updates on the 2017 Women’s Team and competition.”


CARAVAN PARTNERSHIP AND VCAL PROJECT During 2016, Salesian College Chadstone established a collaborative partnership with the Caravan Industry Association Victoria (CIA VIC), which assisted the College’s VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) students in renovating a 1988 Evernew caravan. Following the 2015 launch of the CIA VIC’s National Caravan Industry Training College (NCITC), which focuses on fostering career pathways into the caravan industry, CIA VIC identified an opportunity for a pilot program when Salesian College Chadstone approached them in late 2015, wishing to attend CIA VIC’s Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow. A guided tour of Victoria’s largest caravan show, factory tours to caravan industry businesses and a presentation by the Salesian College students marked

the start of the official partnership in April 2016, with the CIA VIC donating a caravan, materials, industry partners and assistance to the students in the form of a full time workplace industry trainer.

Salesian College’s VCAL students committed to renovating the caravan over six months in a series of stages, delivering the completed caravan at the Melbourne Leisurefest in early October 2016.

Principal Robert Brennan acknowledges the expertise and knowledge of technical CIA VIC experts who have helped bridge the gap between the school and the real world environment, providing the boys with techniques, ownership and responsibility in a controlled and supportive real life technical environment.

Valued at $15,000, the retro Evernew caravan was awarded first prize in the VCAL raffle, with all proceeds from sales going towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

“In line with advancements in our academic streams of curriculum, this year we have been delighted to shine a light on our tailored VCAL program, which caters to the skills of our practical handson learning students. This partnership enables our boys to gain access to invaluable practical resources, as well as the expertise of industry professionals.”

More than 20 industry partners have donated resources, including a caravan guttering system from Northern RV Services, Primal 15-inch alloy wheels, a Truma hot water service from Dometic, and front, side and rear checkerplate from Hume. Kevin O’Malley, a VCAL student at Salesian College, was encouraged by the potential of the caravan, and had a great vision for the finished product.

“This partnership enabled our boys to gain access to invaluable practical resources as well as the expertise of industry professionals.” “We did come across a few challenges during the renovation, but once we started receiving resources from our amazing sponsors, the class started to feel more hopeful that the caravan would actually come together. We want to thank CIA VIC for taking a chance on us and giving us the opportunity to take part in such an incredible project, and also for the generous donation of the tools and the caravan. They have equipped us with skills that we will take with us into our jobs post 2016.”


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

“If you work hard, your goals are achievable, and nothing is impossible.”

KICKING GOALS WITH MELBOURNE VICTORY Nikita Rodrigues Publications and Communications Officer Year 11 student Josh Cavallo, winner of the Melbourne Victory Players’ Player of the Year Award and previous Under 20s Team Captain, reflects on the experiences that have led him to where he is today, and the advice he has to share with his peers. Josh, do you remember when your passion for soccer began? My cousin, brother and grandfather played a huge role in my life, and I always used to watch them kick the ball around. I started playing tennis, before taking up

soccer when I was 6 years old. As time progressed and soccer became more serious, I gave up tennis. I was lucky enough to get selected for Melbourne Victory, and to move up the ranks. Were there any games you watched as a child that are particularly memorable to you? In 2005 I watched Australia play Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. John Aloisi, who was also one of my coaches for Melbourne Victory, scored the winning penalty and we qualified.

From left to right: Brian Venega (Assistant Coach), Joshua Cavallo (receiving Players’ Player of the Year Award), Grant Brebner (Coach)

Photo supplied by Ashley Perez

This game really sparked my interest in soccer. I’ve been lucky enough to be coached by past players of Melbourne Victory. I really look up to Grant Brebner and John Aloisi. They have taught me unbelievable things, such as how to progress further in my career while also staying humble. Explain the moment you won the Players’ Player of the Year Award The ceremony was at AAMI Park, at the function room there. It was a special time because Kevin Muscat, the

Head Coach of Melbourne Victory, and the Chairman, Anthony Di Pietro, were there. I wasn’t really expecting to win; I was just happy that we’d had a great season. We’ve got two squads, a Junior and a Senior Team, and I had been focussed on trying to move into the Senior Team. I was really surprised when I won the award. I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to say in my speech.


You must have a favourite game that you’ve played this year. Are there any memorable moments from this game that stand out to you? My favourite game of the season would have to be our last game. We knew we wouldn’t finish first, but as a team and as an individual player, I really felt we played our best at this game. The coaches also felt happy to be a significant part of our team. It’s nice to be noticed by the agents who are watching, and know that they want to help you go further. It’s a confidence boost to know that they are trying to represent you and show everyone what you have. Some people take it as pressure, but I take it as an opportunity to thrive and show everyone what I’ve got.

What are your goals for next year? Recently I was signed for a youth contract with the Melbourne Victory Youth Team. I want to achieve Captaincy for the older team, to continue to make an impact on others and to win awards, and finally train in the A-League team, which would be a dream come true for me. What are the challenges of being a few years younger than some of your teammates? It is hard at times when some of my teammates are older than I am, but I don’t really focus on the player’s age, I look at the level of skill that they have. I think the best thing for me is to not worry about the age of the player, but their talent. I don’t go to training and worry about people being better than I am because they’re older than I am. It’s a good feeling to know you’re at the same stage in your development as other players who may be 2-3 years older than you.

Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory A-League Head Coach), Chaz Cavallo, Joshua Cavallo, Josephine Cavallo, Anthony Di Pietro (Melbourne Victory Chairman).

How have you learnt to manage your time between school commitments and soccer? Being organised is crucial. I was lucky enough to receive the Sports Ambassador Student Leadership position for 2017 at Salesian, which I value. Time is valuable to me, so when I am at school I put my head down and work, because I don’t have a lot of time outside of school. It’s really important to be on top of things and get my homework done sooner rather than later. I work really hard, and even though the kid next to me might get 90% and I might get 70%, I’m happy, because I know that I’ve tried my hardest and given it my all.

It can be hard for young people to find the one thing they are truly passionate about. Do you have any advice for boys that are unsure of what they want to pursue in their future after Salesian College Chadstone? I think it’s important to be open minded. Not everyone knows whether they want to go to university, play soccer, play tennis, etc. I think it’s important to work hard, and eventually something that you’re interested in will present itself to you. Not giving up is a crucial aspect of an athlete’s mentality. Giving up is the worst thing you can do, because you’re just closing that window off. I’ve been in the Youth System of Melbourne Victory for over two years, and I’ve learnt the value of working hard. If you work hard, your goals are achievable, and nothing is impossible. Photo Credits: Anita Milas, Melbourne Victory Football Club Ashley Perez Photography


GRIFFIN Summer 2016


2016 was Anthony Johnston’s 18th year at Salesian College and, over this time, he had an enormous impact on hundreds of boys and staff through his dedication and passion for his teaching, and in his role as Daily Organiser. His passing in June this year was mourned by students and staff alike, for he was both mentor and friend, and a gentle, cheerful presence on each school day. Fellow Salesian College Chadstone staff member, Ian McKail, reflects on his memories of colleague Anthony (Tony/TJ) Johnston, and their years of friendship. On that dreadfully long Thursday when our minds were riotous, it took a long time to find space sufficient for thoughtful reflection. It came late in the day for me when my wife Mary said, ‘You need a champagne’. We spoke of his passing, who he was, his worth as a very special man… my friend Johnno, a Group One friendship if ever there was one. Tony Johnston touched all our lives every day, like no one else. Imagine 6:30am on any school day. Johnno and Mark Breen arrive together, virtually, and we’re headlong into football, or the school, or the world. In no time the pair of them are aligned, and it’s no holds barred.

Inevitably it gets personal, and the staffroom is rocking with laughter. Sometimes a student arrives for early study time and is recruited to their cause, before Tony and Mark exit like brothers-in-arms. That was such a worthwhile start to a day, and it happened time and time again. If I wanted to go on with it, or felt like a talk, Tony was available a short walk away through the library. Not really… not if he was busy. ‘I can’t talk now, Macca’, he would say in vain. I talked anyway and he didn’t object. He had manners, that man. Tony Johnston had a permanent twinkle in his eye, and such mischievous, cheeky charm. Would I do a double extra, Periods Two and Three? It wasn’t on, but it was doubly pleasing to trick the trickster. Some prank was inevitably on the way. When he beat me to school, he put the heating on, so that six degrees became 22 degrees. We both did that for the other.

“It’s going to be crippling without you, Johnno. That is without doubt the spirited and collective view of the students in your classes.”

Once in a while I’d come to my place in the staffroom, and there was a cheese and Vegemite roll, just as I liked it with the Vegemite put on, then taken off. Tony Johnston was celebrated for making things better on many levels. His contribution to this College is legendary. He may have arrived at school first, or after Amor. Much more often, he was last to leave. There was no point ringing him at home before 6:30 in the evening. He worked hard. He worked long. And he worked well, with a sustained precision that was his own. He was Essendon and I was Carlton, and that should have been a storm to be weathered. There was never a storm in his mind though, because, as I said, he had manners. He kept his passion within boundaries, as gentlemen are prone to do. He loved his footy club, as does Peter Moore, and they had some famous conversations. Peter spoke fondly of his friend ‘TJ’. Recently I backed myself, my memory against his,

and came off second best. I turned up to his Year 12 class and made my apology amid gales of laughter. And there was Johnno with pleasure smeared across his face like country jam. That was a week before he left us. It’s going to be crippling without you, Johnno. That is without doubt the spirited and collective view of the students in your classes. The Specialist Maths boys speak with such fondness of you walking into their class to the tune of ‘Uncle Johnston’, the pleasure it gave them to sing it for you, the delightful way you responded. We may hear it at any time on a randomly chosen mobile phone, a catchy refrain of animated fun that was and remains what you were to those boys. I’m not looking forward to those absent mornings, the equine and AFL postmortems, your unique take on the world, the Spring Carnival or the Autumn session, robbed now of what we made it to be. It can never be the same. It goes on differently, and that will take a world of dealing with.



1. Sarah Rapson, a staff member since January 2011, married Matt Roberts in an intimate ceremony in the Salesian College Chapel on October 29, 2016. After battling leukaemia this year, Sarah’s father was thankfully able to walk her down the aisle at the ceremony. Sarah will always cherish the memory of looking into Matt’s eyes as they said their wedding vows.


2. Head of Visual Arts, Ros Aylward, married her partner, Owais Humayun, in a small, intimate wedding ceremony on a sunny Melbourne day in early July this year. The ceremony was followed by lunch with close family.

3. Reema Lok and Benjamin Beck welcomed their first child, son Kendrick Anoop Keith Beck, born October 11, 2016.

1. On October 16, 2016, Kj Maan and Jess Kaur welcomed their third child to the world, Ajooni Kaur Maan. Ajooni joins her two older siblings, Hayleen and Jayson.

Achievements Perth World Masters Athletics Championships 3. Salesian College teachers, Lachlan Dwyer and Malwina Gutowska, were married in Ballina, NSW, on September 23, 2016. The warm weather and beautiful scenic hills of northern New South Wales provided the perfect backdrop for a ceremony at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, followed by a reception overlooking the Richmond River at sunset.

2. Nick and Karly Shaw celebrated the birth of their first child, daughter Neve Patricia Shaw, born July 3, 2016.

Our very own Leon Brooks, a Maintenance team member at Salesian College Chadstone over the past 9 years, competed in the Perth World Masters Athletics Championships in October this year. Out of 4,000 athletes, Leon finished 4th in the world in the 5km race, with a time of 19.05 minutes. In the 10km race, Leon (the first Australian to reach the finish line), finished 5th, with a time of 40.26 minutes. Congratulations, Leon!


GRIFFIN Summer 2016

2017 HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS 2017 will be a significant year for us, celebrating our 60th year. On Friday 17 March, 2017, we will formally recognise and celebrate the contributions of Salesian College Chadstone Alumni who

have achieved significant success in their chosen fields of service, and who act as positive role models for current and future students. Do you know of someone you’d like to nominate?

Nomination Forms Visit au/community and submit your nomination form.

“2017 will be a significant year for us, celebrating our 60th year.”


50’S, 60’S, 70’S REUNION On September 8, 2016, the College welcomed past students from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to connect over shared memories. Current student Tour Guides led alumni on a tour through our Bosco Campus, followed by a shared lunch with staff members. A clear highlight of the day was watching past and present students engage across generations, all sharing a common bond – a Salesian College Chadstone education.

2017 HALL OF FAME 60 YEAR CELEBRATIONS Get together your Chaddy connections to celebrate our 60 Year Anniversary and Hall of Fame Dinner. Book your ticket now via

10 Bosco Street Chadstone Victoria Australia 3148 T +61 3 9807 2644 F +61 3 9888 1289 ABN 43 797 631 001 INSPIRE EDUCATE BECOME Great men.

Salesian Griffin Summer 2016 - Commitment to Service  

Past student and former Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, Commodore Alan Thompson’s extraordinary commitment to the service of Australia h...

Salesian Griffin Summer 2016 - Commitment to Service  

Past student and former Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, Commodore Alan Thompson’s extraordinary commitment to the service of Australia h...