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Autumn/Winter 2015


Andrew Wood relives the night on the job that changed his life


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

CREDITS Editor: Suzie McErvale publicrelations@ Graphic Design: Stu Fountain, Mud Group Editorial Assistant: Susannah Good Proofreader: Mavis Ford, La Trobe University Front Cover: Mike Keating, Newspix

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Printing: MPrint Photographic Contributions: Br Barry Parker Paddy McKenna Mike Keating Nathan Edwards Suzie McErvale Williams Ross Architects

Editorial Contributions: Robert Brennan Fr John Papworth SDB Jack Palumbo John Visentin Patrick Atallah Josh Lean Danyon Smart Suzie McErvale Nathan D’Souza Harrison Tullberg Niki Pinirou Carl Egan Nadia Knight Kishon Pawar

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ON THE COVER Hero firefighter and past student (Class of 1996) Andrew Wood and wife, Tahnee Wood.

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More page 12

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 those just nearby, what unites them is 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

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Where are they now?

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From the Rector and Chairman of the Advisory Board Page 7

Building Developments

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Victorian Government Year 11 Sports Achievement Award Page 22

Finals Season

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2014 Results Page 24 and Dux Assembly Living out Social Justice Page 10

2015 Captain and Vice Captains’ Message Page 12

Growing Great Men Page 16

The Professional Dilema

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United Nations Assembly Page 27


FROM THE EDITOR Behind great stories there are extraordinary individuals. Each Issue of the Griffin we search and speak with past and present students and listen to their stories. The feature story of the 2015 Autumn/Winter Edition of the Griffin shares the remarkable journey of past student, now firefighter, Andrew Wood (Class of 1995) and the Middle Park explosion he encountered on January 4, 2014. In a moving and humbling interview, Andrew echoes the common theme and attitude of a true Salesian College Chadstone man; authentic, unique and inspirational. It has been a pleasure bringing this issue to you, our community. Ms Suzie McErvale Publications and Communications Officer


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

FROM THE PRINCIPAL Robert Brennan Principal

There can be a lack of awareness of many of the other great accomplishments the College has made in other areas of a holistic education, in which we take much pride: performing arts, public speaking, debating, social justice, and work placements, to name but a few.These are the things that go unheralded. We must celebrate equally. Our Vision, Mission and Values statements highlight the need for a broader view of education, clearly stating all the important elements of a Salesian education identified by this community.

Welcome to the 2015 Autumn/Winter edition of the “Griffin”. In this edition we highlight the efforts and achievements of a number of past and present students who have done themselves, their families and their College proud. The publication highlights the story of past student Andrew Wood’s life changing experience on January 4, 2014. It is nothing short of extraordinary. In light of this I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the education we provide here at Salesian College Chadstone, moving away from a traditional understanding of straight academic achievement, and turning the focus to areas which don’t often gain the kudos they warrant, the elements of education that can’t be easily measured.

Government accountabilities and reporting required of schools, and the media attention given to certain academic results, very quickly place an unfair focus on a limited perspective of what is a good contemporary education. Through various media publications, many in the community are aware of the academic successes the College has enjoyed over a period of time. VCE and NAPLAN results are lauded as the pinnacle of academic achievement. Whilst these results are a significant part of a good education, they are only one narrow aspect, and there are many other elements of a good education which go unreported, and which are equally important, but often forgotten.

The College’s vision is to be a dynamic, joy-filled learning community that inspires all boys to strive for excellence in the spirit of Don Bosco. As our Mission Statement reiterates, we celebrate diversity and the achievements of all within an environment of joy and optimism. It also states that we will provide students and staff with every opportunity to develop in all aspects of life. The following examples only begin to illustrate how our boys have demonstrated outstanding behaviour and respect to others, which has seen them and the College receive praise and accolades from members of the wider community. Recently I received a letter from a member of the public, complimenting a number of our Year 9 boys participating in the Year 9 Bosco Program for the way they presented themselves and the manner in which they behaved.

I also took a call from a young mother in Glen Waverley, who contacted the school to congratulate us on the behaviour of two boys she believed were in Year 7. The boys had taken the time to converse with her four year old daughter, answering her questions and generally interacting with her. Council nurses attending a recent vaccination program commented on how wonderful Salesian boys are and how much they enjoyed their visit to the College.We are told weekly how wonderful our tour guides are as they show prospective parents and students around their school, talking with pride about their College. We should allow ourselves to reflect on these incidents, in combination with regular activities our boys involve themselves in, such as the Oakleigh Connections group visits of a Friday afternoon, when students spend their lunchtime kicking a footy or throwing a frisbee with our visitors, or the boys who go out regularly to Ozanam House to visit disadvantaged men. This feedback highlights for me the amazing talents of our boys and their willingness to give and care for others in the community. This reassures me that the work we do in providing our boys with a broad holistic education is worthwhile. All these are examples of the richness of the experience our boys encounter, and, more importantly, provide illustrations of the great young men we nurture here at the College. St John Bosco’s call for his institutions to grow good Christians and honest citizens is alive and well here in Chadstone.


“St John Bosco’s call for his institutions to grow good Christians and honest citizens is alive and well here in Chadstone.”

To ensure that these examples are not left to chance and to ensure that all of our boys are clear about our expectations, we have introduced new initiatives over the past couple of years which are worth highlighting. This year, after much planning and preparation, the College implemented a Personal Development program for all boys at each year level. Our ‘oratory’ is a contemporary model of the system John Bosco established 150 years ago at Valdocco. The program aims to allow all boys to have developed in their time at the College: • Spiritual growth, a strong personal faith and an understanding of the diversity of beliefs of others, based upon our Catholic Salesian tradition • Emotional maturity, a healthy self-identity and wellbeing, allowing them to relate to others in an empathetic way • Social awareness, a strong sense of belonging and an appreciation of positive relationships, inclusion and true respect for others

• Academic skills and attributes that allow them to achieve academic success, opening up appropriate educational pathways as lifelong learners • A deep understanding of their physical being and healthy pursuits • Understanding of service leadership and a strong set of leadership skills A well designed program, with clearly articulated goals and a variety of learning activities, delivers a basis for our boys to experience personal growth in all of these areas under the nurturing guide of their Oratory leaders. The second of the initiatives introduced over two years ago, the Salesian Award, recognises students’ involvement and participation in College events and activities. The Salesian Award is attained by accumulating points in four categories: Academic, Citizenship, Sport and Culture over the boys’ time at the College. There are three levels, gold, silver and bronze, each having a designated number of points required to attain each level. There is a compulsory point requirement at each level, with a certain number of points having to be gained in the Academic and Citizenship categories. Academic points are earned through a grade point average at the end of each semester, while sports points are awarded for participation in House and ACC sporting competitions. Cultural points are gained through participation in music, public speaking and other cultural events. Citizenship points are earned through participation in community

days, fundraising, social justice activities, merits and assisting the community in a myriad of ways. The award has been warmly received by the boys with our fond hope that it will continue to encourage Salesian young men to become great men. Here at the College we recognise that we are truly blessed in the opportunities that present themselves to us in the form of our students. Similarly, our students are truly blessed with the skills they learn and the way they respond to life events, as beautifully illustrated through Andrew Wood’s story. The boys continually demonstrate the five values of integrity, respect, belonging, joy and dynamism as expressed in our values statement. I do hope you enjoy this edition of the “Griffin”. God Bless.

SALESIAN FACTS Syria is a continuous concern for Salesians. It has become a very hard war reality for our brothers, sisters and houses of the Near East. In Aleppo, Syria, young men from our houses risk the danger of bullets on a daily basis in order to give normality to oratories and youth centres. The formation work and human development conducted by the Salesians in Colombia has received recognition from the whole country.


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

“The Rector Major was keen to hear from young people and to respond to them, encouraging them to cherish what they had gained from sharing in the Salesian Spirit of St John Bosco and to draw on this source of strength to bring greater care for the needy.”

FROM THE RECTOR AND CHAIRMAN OF THE ADVISORY BOARD Fr John Papworth S.D.B Rector Plan, specifically, the continued refurbishment of the Naylon Arts Wing. In conjunction with this, a constant on the agenda is Policy Analysis, which has continued with focus on the area of Occupational Health and Safety.

Rector Major’s Visit Throughout 2015, Salesians around the world are celebrating the Bi-Centenary of the birth of St John Bosco. A highlight of the series of celebrations has been the visit of the Rector Major (World Leader) of the Salesians. From Tuesday 5 May to Sunday 17 May the Rector Major visited the AustraliaPacific Province. After spending time in the outreach areas of the Salesian ‘World’ in New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa, the Rector Major spent a short time visiting the Salesian Community in Massey and Avondale (Auckland area) in New Zealand before coming on to Australia. A small group of students (from Year 10) joined students from Salesian College Rupertswood and quite a number of Australian Salesian Youth Mentors (ASYM) members at the Airport to welcome the Rector Major on his arrival. On Friday 15 May young people from Chadstone and Rupertswood joined

with the students of St Joseph’s College, who hosted a gathering where the Rector Major spoke with students and post-school young people involved in the Salesian Mission in Youth Centres, Camps and Leadership programs. The Rector Major was very keen to hear from young people and to respond to them, encouraging them to cherish what they had gained from sharing in the Salesian Spirit of St John Bosco, to draw on this source of strength to bring greater care for the needy and to share a much less self-centred way of life with each other, as an example of a better way of life. Following this address, Rector Major gathered with fellow Salesians at the Province Centre in Ascot Vale, where he celebrated

Eucharist and spoke with a very warm heart of his experience over the past year as he begins his term as Rector Major. He expressed how the marvellous work of Salesians in places of great disturbance around the world gave encouragement and faith to the spirit of Don Bosco, and reassured those present about just how profound this faith is when adapted to and adopted by various cultures around the world.

From the Chairman of the Advisory Board Tuesday 5 May saw the College Board meet for the second time for the 2015 academic year. Amidst the busyness of the year, attention has been focused on the unfolding Strategic

At the conclusion of the 2014 year, the College farewelled two longstanding Board members, past pupil and parent, Mr Chris McGuinnes, and past pupil and renowned Education Consultant and Parent Educator, Mr Michael Grose, both of whom brought a valuable contribution to School strategy discussions and educational insight. Salesian College Chadstone praises their service and ongoing commitment over the past six years. For the commitment of this group of people, the Salesian Authority (The Provincial and his Council) and the Leadership of the College are most grateful. As became clear in the interviews held as part of the recent Formative Appraisal of the Principal, Mr Brennan, the governance of the College and the direction of its development are in very good hands, as affirmed by members of staff, students and parents. May this growth and deepening consolidation continue as the College Community journeys on, endeavouring to launch young men into enriched and promising futures.


BUILDING DEVELOPMENTS Mr Jack Palumbo Business Manager Developments around the College grounds have continued steadily over the last twelve months with building commencing on the Naylon Arts Wing refurbishment. Taking the lead as the largest building project in size and financial commitment in the College’s rich 58 year history, the stateof-the-art Naylon Wing has been purposely designed to: • Encompass a theatrette, art gallery, entertainment pavilion, cutting edge art studios and dedicated spaces for visual communication design and media • Provide facilities for lectures, drama productions, video capture, function rooms with catering capabilities, exhibitions and light filled art studios • Audio visual capabilities with television screens and hearing augmentation in all classrooms. Building works have commenced with completion planned for the start of the 2016 school year. The Occhienna Wing has been extended by two classrooms and two offices. The extra classrooms will provide much needed learning areas taken offline due to the Naylon redevelopment and provide flexibility for future growth after the development has been completed.

Completed during 2014, the Kimberley Hall Foyer was fitted with a new trophy cabinet, Dux and School Captain honour boards with a spectacular video wall. The innovative touch screen video wall has been tailored to allow searching of honour recipients from the College’s history, allowing unlimited categories and recipients to be displayed. The Hall has also undergone changes with a resurfaced sports floor, new backboards, airconditioning, new amenities block and the latest in digital equipment, allowing performances and speeches to be projected on to large screens for ease of viewing and recording for staff and students to access, anywhere, anytime. Recently opened in 2014 the Fedrigotti Science Wing has settled into school life extremely well. The cutting edge and practical design has facilitated an updated curriculum giving the Science faculty a platform to drive the department forward. Students and teachers alike have embraced the new dual learning spaces for both classroom and practical work within a light filled environment. The College is continuing to move forward with future building projects, including a dedicated Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) Building.

Further updates and photos of major projects will be published in the next Griffin.

“Taking the lead as the largest building project in size and financial commitment in the College’s rich 58 year history, the state-of-the-art Naylon Wing has been purposely designed...”

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The 2014 Dux Assembly was held on Tuesday 17 February in the newly renovated Kimberley School Hall at the Bosco Campus.

20 2014 2013

A significant annual event in the life of the College, the occasion saw the Hall filled to capacity with students, staff, over 200 parents, old scholars and invited guests gathering to award formal recognition of the outstanding academic achievements of 2014 students.

ATAR Exceeding 90


Study Score above 40

Percentage of Cohort

John Visentin Deputy Principal

The College is particularly proud of the achievements of the 2014 Year 12 cohort, successfully achieving VCE results that placed us as the third highest Catholic boys’ school in Victoria with

regards to study scores over 40. The Class of 2014 distinguished itself as a cohort, achieving results that have surpassed those of previous years. This result is testimony to the sustained effort over many years to develop a robust learning environment, brought to life by a group of diligent, professional and committed educators. The boys in this cohort have achieved their results by doing small things each day, and with all of their teachers, to ultimately achieve their goals over their years at the College.

The Highlights of the combined Unit 3 and 4 results include: • A VCE completion rate of 100 per cent • 37 per cent of students achieving an ATAR above 80 • 18 per cent of students achieving an ATAR exceeding 90 • 11.5 per cent of students achieving a study score above 40 These results put Salesian College ahead of our neighbouring boys’ schools, and, indeed, make us one of the highest achieving Catholic boys’ schools in Victoria.


“Congratulations to our Year 12 students of 2014 on their successful VCE results as the third highest Catholic boys’ school in Victoria with regards to study scores over 40.” Name ATAR Subject Dux Nathan D’Souza 99.65 Chemistry, Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Physics Joel Nixon 98.75 Accounting, English, Legal Studies

Jackson Trieu 98.15

Science/Engineering (Monash University)

Carl Rodricks


Law/Commerce (Monash University)

Mario Noyahr


Biomedical Science (Monash University)


Richard Bradley


Commerce (University Of Melbourne) Economics

Rafael Ruslianto 95.35 IT Applications

Year 11: Nimesh Kularatne Year 10: David Luong Year 9: Julian Russo Year 8: Purna Perera Year 7: Jed Li We congratulate all boys on their efforts in 2014 and look forward to continued learning and achievement in 2015.

Commerce (University Of Melbourne) Engineering (Monash University)

Robert D’Leema 95.75

Year Level Dux

Law/Commerce (Monash University) Law/Arts (Monash University)

Johnathan Alevizos

Those boys are listed below:

Biomedicine (University Of Melbourne)

Grant Napitupulu 98.25

Diego Tandoc 96.55 Further Mathematics

As well as subject and scholarship prizes being awarded, the Dux Assembly allowed the top achiever at each year level to be acclaimed as Dux.

University Destination

Commerce (University Of Melbourne) Commerce/Business Information Systems (Monash University)

Ricky He


Commerce/Engineering (Monash University)

Maneesh Selvarajah


Commerce/Engineering (Monash University)

Andrea Michele Torcasio


Software Development

Aviation (Moorabbin Flying Services)

Tristan Yates


Systems Engineering

Engineering (Monash University)

Vishal Ravi


Commerce (University Of Melbourne)

Nipul Modara Acharige Don 92.15

Commerce/Economics (Monash University)

Nicholas Berlangieri 91.05 Psychology Shaun Khambatta

Nutrition Science (Monash University)


English as an Additional Language Arts/Science (Monash University)

David Marben 90.75

Engineering (Monash University)

John Requizo


Engineering (Monash University)

Aidan Davitt 90.55

Commerce/Law (Deakin University)

Philip Hoang 90.45 Physical Education

Applied Science/Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics (La Trobe University)

Dohwon Kim 90.05

Arts (University Of Melbourne)


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

2015 CAPTAIN AND VICE CAPTAINS’ MESSAGE Patrick Atallah 2015 School Captain Josh Lean and Danyon Smart 2015 School Vice-Captains Salesian College Chadstone’s Student Leadership Program provides young men with a platform to display their leadership qualities, giving boys the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential. Student Leaders are expected to show characteristics of integrity, commitment, confidence and an ability to communicate effectively amongst peers and staff. Leadership at the College enables students to meet people from other schools and organisations to network and share their views on developing into effective leaders. At the end of 2014 we were fortunate enough to host and attend the annual School Captains Conference where captains from Salesian schools around Australia came together to discuss what makes a great leader and how we can better ourselves to be all that we can be. Salesian’s Student Leaders are seen as the avenue between the student body and staff, often advocating the ideas and suggestions of their peers to senior members of staff. For the student voice to be heard, leaders frequently run Student Representative Council (SRC) meetings during lunch times, where the senior leaders discuss what the students have proposed to be added, changed or removed at the College. If it is decided that the proposal is to be taken further, leaders will put

together a formally written letter detailing the change, which is then delivered to the staff Leadership Team for a decision to be made. The College Captain and the two College Vice-Captains can further detail these suggestions when attending College Board meetings that take place on a monthly basis. This process allows students to express their true feelings about life within the College and how, ultimately, it can be improved for the betterment of the school. Salesian College values student relationships greatly as well as the relationship between the staff and student. Over the course of our journey at Salesian, we have had the privilege of being taught by some wonderful teachers who love nothing more than to see their students prosper and grow. It has not been until our senior years that we have truly learnt to appreciate the outstanding work that they do. Leadership is a major catalyst to forming these bonds between students and staff, which we believe is a huge step towards growing into a mature leader. It is these relationships which we aim to focus on in 2015. Throughout the year our student leadership body aims to build on and further foster professional and strong bonds with staff through many cultural events such as sporting occasions, chess and debating opportunities,

as well as social barbecues. At these occasions we aim to give back to our teachers, and to model a supportive and respectful school community, which is required for success. Leadership allows for boys to attain a great sense of satisfaction by contributing to all areas of College life. Annual House Athletics and House Swimming Carnivals provide fantastic opportunities to create a great culture of camaraderie and belonging within each respective House. This is accomplished by encouraging all boys to achieve their best in a competitive yet friendly and fun environment. The leadership structure at Salesian College involves students from all year levels, giving everyone an opportunity to have a position of leadership. It begins with the Year 7,

“Salesian College Chadstone’s Student Leadership Program provides young men with a platform to display their leadership qualities, giving boys the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential.”


8 and 9 Class Captains and Vice-Captains, who are responsible for year level activities, as well as happenings within their own Oratories. The young leaders work with each other to plan upcoming events and new initiatives, and to liaise with senior leaders as well as staff to put their ideas into action. This is important, as it gives those in younger year levels the chance to show and nurture their leadership qualities, setting them up for senior leadership later on, and allows them to be represented in the wider school community. In Years 10, 11 and 12, rather than Class Captains, leadership in this sense becomes house orientated, with each year level having a House Captain and House Vice-Captain for each of the four houses: Annecy, Collinson, Moroney and Savio. These captains work together to organise house events such as House Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country, as well as the numerous other house-based activities throughout the year, including fundraising and other sporting and academic competitions. Year 12 offers a wide variety of new leadership positions that involve individual faculties or roles. Four

new roles were introduced last year, which are the Ambassador roles. Each Ambassador is responsible for a particular aspect of Salesian life: Academic, Culture, Mission and Sports. The Academic Ambassador spearheads new initiatives to help students with their academic endeavours, such as a peer tutoring program for Year 12s, in which alumni return to the school to tutor the current Year 12s in their area of expertise. The Cultural Ambassador works closely with the Music, Performing Arts, Technology and Art departments to organise concerts, exhibitions, productions and performances. The Mission Ambassador oversees the religious and spiritual component of the College. This includes masses, fundraisers and charitable actions. Finally, the Sports Ambassador is in charge of organising school sports events, as well as teams to compete in ACC sport against other Catholic boys’ schools. There are also more specific roles, such as Music, Drama, Debating and Public Speaking and Social Justice Captains, all of whom work with their individual departments, as well as the leadership team, to micromanage the organisation of events and

initiatives within the school community.

in active leadership at the College.

The College Captain and the two College Vice-Captains oversee the entire student leadership team and work together with them to take their ideas to fruition, as well as discuss new and exciting possibilities for the school. We represent the school at various events, and discuss ideas with other leaders from across the nation. In conjunction with the staff leadership team, we share ideas with students and work together to make a change for the better.

Within the College, leadership is not just for those who have been elected to a leadership role. All students are taught about Don Bosco and the Salesian principles of honesty, integrity and respect. We come together as a whole school in Mass and assemblies, where the Salesian traditions are re-enforced to each and every student. Classroom behaviour and attitude provide another avenue to practise leadership qualities. Here, students are required to take responsibility for their own learning, and to behave in a manner that promotes a positive example to others.

Salesian College is proud of its long tradition of producing students who show strong leadership qualities. The College environment is one of unity and cohesion, where every student is provided with an opportunity to lead by example. The leadership culture at Salesian is accepting of everyone, which is shown through effective teamwork and cooperation that leads to success. Students other than elected leaders are encouraged to provide proposals for new initiatives, which are then discussed at Student Representative Council meetings. This is a way for everyone to become involved

Salesian College Chadstone thrives on developing excellent young men, which is portrayed through acts of kindness around the school. We discipline ourselves to set good examples and to encourage others to be their best selves. Although leadership is often not perfected, but something that grows through experience, it is then clear that following the school’s motto, ‘Inspire, Educate, Become Great Men’, is where great examples of leadership can prosper.


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GROWING GREAT MEN Suzie McErvale Publications and Communications Officer

Past student and hero Firefighter Andrew Wood relives the night on the job that changed his life. Post this experience, Andrew is calling for a law to be passed to support firefighters contracting work-related cancer, and states that shedding light on mental illness is his priority. Andrew, thank you for your time. Your story is captivating and nothing short of gut wrenching. Can you describe the events of the night that changed your life and what went through your mind? Thanks for having me here. It’s good to be back at the College. On January 4, 2014, two colleagues and I were called out to a job to where there was a fellow threatening self-harm in a building. The police were already there, and they were asking if we could gain access to the second story apartment through a window. We went up, I broke open the window into the small, dark apartment and entered. Because of the nature of the job, I didn’t know what I was going to see, but proceeded to go in and open up the front door. The police came in and went straight to the bedroom where the man was. I went to the kitchen to turn off the gas stove, but it was already off.

As I was walking out of the kitchen, one of the policemen came towards me carrying an 8kg gas cylinder. I asked him if it was turned off, to which he replied, “It’s empty”. I said to him clearly that we needed to get out of there. I took one step towards the front door before the building was engulfed in flames. All I recall from that instant was an incredible wave of heat coming over me. Thankfully my back was to it and I had all my protective gear on, including my helmet and neck protector, but I do remember my face starting to burn. My initial thought was that I had to get out of there, otherwise I was going to die. I knew that I was burning and that we had to get out straight away. At that point I registered hearing horrific screaming from the three police officers from behind me death screams. They were in agonising pain. There was some fiddling around with the door, but I managed to get it open, and we ran.


“You’ve got blisters, but don’t worry about that, you’re breathing… you’re alive…you’re out of there… you’re not burning anymore, don’t worry about your face; you’re alive”.

I was at the front, followed by the male policeman and the female police constable. As we ran downstairs the male police officer behind me disappeared into an apartment, to try and get water onto himself. The female officer followed me downstairs and collapsed outside on the ground, at which point I asked neighbours to go and get a hose to start to cool her down. I looked around to try and find my fellow firefighter who had been up on the balcony when we first arrived. When I’d entered the apartment he had stayed there. My officer was asking me where he was, but I couldn’t tell him. For a moment we thought he had been blown off the balcony in the explosion. It turned out he hadn’t, thankfully. He’d managed to get down the ladder and get back to the fire truck. At that moment, as I looked up, I noticed the third female police officer up on the balcony, on fire, screaming in excruciating pain. I said to my officer that I was going to go up and get her, but he said, “No, no, you’re burnt, stay down here”. I told him that I couldn’t leave her and that I had to get up there. She was screaming. I said to her that we had to get her down, but she told me that she couldn’t manage it. I assured her that I would help her.


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

We got onto the ladder and I reassured her that I would support her. I held her back as she climbed down, blood dripping and seriously burnt. As soon as we got her down to the ground, she collapsed. I went to my fire truck and grabbed my oxygen and burns kit. She asked me how severe her condition was. I answered, “You’ve got blisters, but don’t worry about that, you’re breathing… you’re alive… you’re out of there… you’re not burning anymore, don’t worry about your face, you’re alive”. Nearby neighbours worked on one officer as I worked on the other. People were telling me to step away as I was burnt myself, but I couldn’t step away. I became very focused on looking after these officers. I think it gave me purpose. It really helped me with my own burns. Eventually some of my crew came over and said that there were people at the scene now who could properly look after the officers and that I needed to get into an ambulance myself. I asked them to take the girls first, given their state was far worse than mine. I was registering a bit of pain at that point, but there was a lot of adrenalin. But these two girls, they were touch and go. When I was told the officers had been put in the ambulance, I was then happy to go to the hospital. How did life as you know it change after the incident? I’m certainly a lot more cautious - a lot more cautious than I used to be. I have a background in outdoor education - I used to teach it. I used to love white water rafting, skiing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, all that kind of stuff. I still do those activities, but I’m a lot more cautious. I don’t enjoy putting myself in life threatening situations. I’m hyper aware of how fragile

life is and how quickly things can change. As tragic as it is, I guess that I’ve had that real contrast of being able to see how the police have fared and how I’ve fared, and that often gives me a reminder of where I could be, so I’m careful. I don’t know if this attitude has come directly from the explosion itself, or whether it’s being four weeks away from welcoming my first child. I think that plays into it quite a lot. I now have a family I need to look after and I need to be there to help them…or perhaps it comes with the territory of getting older. Or maybe it’s all three. I have a lot more focus on mental health issues as a result of the experience. The gentleman who was threatening self- harm… the whole situation, is very sad. It irks me that people want to do such a thing. As a result, I’m trying to get programs up and running to make firefighters a lot more aware of how to deal with people with mental health issues. For me, it’s a huge issue in our society. I read a lot and see so many sad stories that are attributed to mental health issues. This experience has certainly changed my life, and I suppose that’s why I have a real focus on it. I don’t want to see any more of our Emergency Service workers, particularly Firefighters, Police and Ambulance Officers, get in these situations. I’ve seen the police officers since the explosion and it’s so sad. My belief is that there needs to be a greater focus on mental health. I’m passionate that as Emergency Services and as a society and in Government, we need to be looking into better ways of prevention, educating people and dealing with these tough topics. It’s a big issue. So many sad stories have happened in Melbourne

alone, involving children, as a result of mental health issues. These innocent kids end up being the victims and it’s not okay. Tell me more about your focus on mental health issues for men in particular. When I reflected on my time at Salesian College Chadstone, the benefits really came to mind. Of late, I have been reading specifically about depression in men, and the research is attributing levels to a lack of male friendships and the ability to open up emotionally. With men between the ages of 26 and 48, the risk of depression is higher, simply because they just don’t have that male outlet/support network. Thinking back to the male friendships that I made at school and still have today (and the same for my brother), we were so fortunate that we went to a school that provided such solid male bonding opportunities and mateship. Today, I am focused on exploring domestic violence and the role that men can play in preventative measures. I was very taken aback by the story of the 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty. In an industry like the MFB, which is heavily dominated by men, there’s real scope, as I see it, to playing a role in mental illness awareness. There was a flashover with the Middle Park gas explosion. Do you have any memory of that exact moment, and do you find yourself reliving the experience? I remember two nights after the explosion, lying in bed with my wife next to me. We were waking up every two hours to apply cream

and clean the burns on my face. I remember lying there, trying to sleep, thinking what an amazing life changing experience it was that I went through, and that I should try and remember the details, so that if I ever needed to be able to recall it, I would be able to. I lay there, trying to remember what it was like and where I was, picturing myself turning and then feeling the heat on my face. As I started to go through all of this, it registered with me that this probably wasn’t the sort of thing one should focus on specifically remembering. Rather, it was the sort of thing I should probably try and forget. I decided at that point to take it on board as an amazing experience in my life, but to now move on from it. A psychologist was offered to me, and I took up the opportunity to talk through the experience. She confirmed that I was fine, but certainly didn’t suggest recalling the experience to get it out of my system. I’ve reflected since, wondering if I am repressing this, but I don’t believe I am. I’m glad that I have been able to move on from it. I feel very removed from the experience, which for me has been a healthy way to approach it. I have no qualms about talking about the night with people who are interested, because it was an amazing experience. I am, however, consciously separated from it and I don’t want to recall emotions from that exact moment that things happened, the moment that changed some people’s lives forever. Post this experience, you have called for a law to be passed to support firefighters contracting work-related cancer. Talk to me about how this experience as a firefighter has pushed you in this direction.


The Fire Brigade and the Union have been fighting for Presumptive Legislation, whereby if a fire fighter contracts a cancer, it is presumed that they contracted it firefighting, because of the higher incident of cancer in the industry. This legislation has been supported in a recent report conducted by Monash University. It breaks my heart to say that I know a handful of firefighters who are currently battling cancer. Some of these are young people, some of them have young families and they are fighting these horrific cancers that are riddling their body. I know plenty of guys who have died from cancer since I’ve been on the job (six years), and still today there are people dying, who are not getting the funding for medical help that they need to live out their last days. It’s a situation where people have no option but to use up all their sick leave, and colleagues are donating their sick leave so that these people can get the appropriate treatment and still be there to support their families. Tragically, these people are spending the last years of their lives battling to try and get some kind of compensation for necessary medical help.

who have just joined the job, that in four to five years’ time they may contract these cancers and have to die at very young ages, fighting to get this funding and trying to provide for families at the same time. This is a topic I am incredibly passionate about. To watch these guys, who started out as healthy people and now who are skin and bone, breaks your heart, it really does, knowing that they’ve contracted this because they’ve gone into situations to help others.I know economics are a factor in the decision, but if people are doing that kind of selfless act then they should be looked after. I think they’ve identified 18 to 20 different types of cancers that firefighters are subjected to developing.

For a while we’ve been fighting to get this Presumptive Legislation passed. The previous Government requested that they view the Monash Report and then conduct a report to see what they say about it. In the meantime, Canberra firefighters have succeeded in having the legislation passed. Tasmanian, Western Australian, Canadian and other United States firefighters have got it. Victoria is still waiting.

Andrew, are you a man of faith?

I hate to think about people I’m working with right now

Lately, the media has been highlighting the Fiskville Enquiry, specifically the carcinogenic levels in the water of that training facility. Now, I went through that training facility, and I’m scared to think of what might come up in the next few years because of what chemicals I was exposed to at the time. I have a little baby on the way in four weeks, and I want to be around then to see him or her grow up.

I certainly feel that being raised as a Catholic has had a positive effect on both my working and family life. The reason I say this is that, being raised as a Catholic, I was exposed to the fundamentals of compassion, empathy, helping others, mateship and forgiveness, which in my line of work is a huge part of where I am now. Religion aside, I believe all firefighters hold many Catholic fundamental beliefs.

I don’t think they join the job unless they carry those ideals of empathy, forgiveness or the notion of helping others. That’s how they get selected for the job, and that’s why they are in the job. Regardless of demographics, firefighters are there to help, regardless of their denomination. I love the work that I do because I’m surrounded by people who exude that willingness to do good and support those in need. It’s the beautiful thing about my job. I feel it is a real privilege to be paid to help others in a direct, front line kind of a way. I feel very humbled to be there at some of the most amazing times of people’s lives, when they need you the most, and to do that day in day out. It’s not just that once in a lifetime experience. People say to me, “Wow, I saw a car accident the other day”. Well, we get to see that every day, and hold people’s hands through the experience and, hopefully, help bring them back from that horrible place and see them go on to live a wonderful life. With a three generation connection to Salesian College Chadstone, what are the long lasting effects of this connection on your family? I feel very fortunate that my generation of family members has always had a strong commitment to Salesian College Chadstone, and particularly the Salesian family, who have such a focus on social justice. It’s a topic that my family is very passionate about. My grandmother at 96 years old still donates regularly, my young nephew at the age of 8 busks at the local shops and donates 50 per cent of his earnings to local refugees.

The social justice principle has been a focus throughout my family and still today for me, my brother, my father and even my sisters, who have been involved in the Don Bosco camps. The brotherhood and mateship from Salesian has been a valued connection for me and my brother. I regularly read about mental health issues, in particular male depression, and one of the key themes for sufferers is about having an outlet to speak. I feel fortunate that I have been in that position where I have been able to help Salesian mates that I have had since my time at the school, because I myself have learnt the value of having that outlet, and they too have given me that outlet support. Having that connection is invaluable and it can’t be underestimated. I have seen and experienced what other schools do, and I’m confident that we do it better than anyone else. The school pride doesn’t come from what it looks like on the outside, it comes from the mateship on the inside. Regardless of the bike you ride or the clothes you wear, Salesian College helps cut through a lot of how someone looks or how big their house might be, but rather focuses on what sort of person they are. It was a badge of pride that we wore, that distinguished us from other schools. We might not do it as glamorously as other schools with big budgets, but on the inside it’s what holds the boys together.


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

With an ATAR of 99.65, Class of 2014 Dux Nathan D’Souza recognises what it takes to strive for excellence in today’s 21st century learning environment. Nathan shares how high ATAR scores open up a world of possibilities. Nathan, where are you now and what are you doing? I am now at the University of Melbourne, studying the degree of Bachelor of Biomedicine. People often experience pathway decisions in their lives. Describe your dilemma and decision making process in choosing a pathway. During school, I was very undecided as to what I wanted to study at university. I only knew that I wanted to do something in the maths and science field, but with the help and guidance of my parents, Salesian College, university Open Days and other information, I decided to study Biomedicine. Having completed one semester of it, I can say that I am very happy with the decision that I have made, as it is proving to be a very engaging and enlightening course.

“Faith certainly has helped me to stay focused, given me confidence when I’ve needed it, and given me understanding and wisdom, which has inspired me to fulfil my dreams.”

THE PROFESSIONAL DILEMMA Nathan D’Souza 2014 College Dux


What has been your biggest learning to date through this pathway decision experience? I learnt that speaking to as many people as possible greatly helped me to understand the system and how university works, so that I could make a more informed decision. Certainly, I did receive some vastly different information regarding careers and such, but sorting through it all is what helped me to better understand myself and everything else. What comes to mind when you think about what life will look like in 5 –10 years from now? I hope that by then I will have a good job, and that everything in life will fall into place. I certainly see more responsibility, but that’s what life is all about! How has faith inspired you to push forward with your dreams and aspirations? Faith certainly has helped me to stay focused, has given me confidence when I’ve needed it, and has given me understanding and wisdom, which has inspired me to fulfil my dreams. Tell me about the relationships in your life that hold meaning and how these have guided you. My parents are always there for me, and take a deep interest in helping me to progress through life. They inspire me to do the best that I can, and give me

confidence and belief that I can succeed. Without my parents, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. My friends also help me to push through the rigours of life, as I hope that I do for them. We support one another and also provide some good competition to contend against! Describe the difference you want to make in your profession. I aspire to being a leader in my field, and to contribute to society in a positive way, such as improving people’s lives or aspects of the world we live in. Do you have any parting words/suggestions for students at Salesian College Chadstone? Value your time at Salesian College the most you can. It is one of the most memorable times in your life. Appreciate the fact that there are always people willing to help you at school. Commit yourself to studying, and do your best to enhance your chances of success for the future. Also, value the relationships you make. Always be true to yourself, as you are the one living your life, so live it to fullest!


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Harrison Tullberg Class of 2014

Student, Harrison Tullberg, is working tirelessly to make the 2022 Winter Olympics for aerial skiing, while pursuing his Law degree. Harrison shares how aspiring for both life goals makes him jump out of bed in the morning. Harrison, it’s been barely six months since leaving Year 12 at Salesian College Chadstone and there’s been no mucking around. Where are you and what are you doing? I’ve been following a heavy schedule since leaving Salesian, and everything is going incredibly quickly. As soon as I completed my VCE I went off to Utah in the United States to train as part of the aerial skiing team. I spent nearly two months overseas skiing at Snowbasin Resort. After returning from Utah, I settled into my studies and am now completing my first trimester exams. Meanwhile, I’ve participated in a long water ramping camp, honing my jumping skills into water before going to snow. Everything’s settling down now, and I’ll be off to Mt Buller to train for a month, and then off to the US to complete some water ramp training in the American summer. You’re one of two young men selected for the Elite Athlete Program in Aerial Skiing. Explain how this came to be. Before aerial skiing I was a trampoline gymnast, and competed overseas in South Africa last year at the 2014 Indo Pacific Championships. I competed very well last year, and this gave me the opportunity to be accepted into the program, with another male athlete, to be trialed. We’re the only two males to have been officially selected. Aerial skiing and Law share little common ground. Explain what interests you about these two very different pathways. I’ve always enjoyed some type of outlet away from school, and I’ve always found myself participating in sports. Aerial skiing gives me that outlet, with an added adrenalin rush of getting to jump and flip in the air and onto snow. I guess Law is also my time away from sport. It keeps me balanced and challenged. The aspect of Law I find the most intriguing is that there is never a right or wrong answer - it is completely argumentative. It’s a difficult path to take, and I enjoy being challenged. Describe a typical day for you. A typical day would begin with an early morning jog. Afterwards, I would do some revision from the previous uni lectures and would head to training. Training usually goes for about five to six hours a day, involving trampoline training, water ramping work and gym strength and conditioning.

I’ll usually be super exhausted after training, but will push myself to go through university lectures online and write notes. I might get a little time to veg out afterwards for about an hour, but straight after it’s bedtime, then I’m ready to repeat the routine the next day. Your passion for life is clear. How do you channel this energy to drive yourself forward? I’ve always been a person who is clear about what I want. I make myself these ambitious goals. The thought of achieving them consumes me and pushes me to make them a reality. Not long ago it was my goal to compete for Australia, and in my final year of school I did it! I made it a goal of mine to give everything I had in year 12 to get a high ATAR score, and I wasn’t disappointed. Goal setting is powerful, and motivates me to achieve these goals and be successful. Olympic Silver Medallist Dave Morris is a clear inspiration for you. Describe how a role model like Dave motivates you to become great. Dave Morris is an athlete who is completely diligent and motivated. He constantly pushes himself in training and makes new benchmarks to improve. Dave pushes the boundaries, and is known as one of the fastest men to improve and reach World Cup level in aerial skiing. Like Dave, I want to also push the boundaries in my sport and of course make the Olympics. What do you say to students who hold dreams in today’s competitive environment? Don’t hold back. If there is something that you love and hold dear, strive for it. There’s nothing stopping you from reaching your goal but yourself. Don’t be conservative and do something for the sake of keeping family or friends happy. Do something that you’ll be proud of and won’t hold any regrets about later.


“Don’t hold back. If there is something that you love and hold dear, strive for it. There’s nothing stopping you from reaching your goal but yourself.”


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT YEAR 11 SPORTS GERALD MINI FARFAN Niki Pinirou English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher Gerald Mini Farfan is an International student here at Salesian College Chadstone. On Thursday 21 May, Gerald attended a ceremony hosted by the Victorian Government at Parliament House. He was awarded the prestigious ‘Year 11 Sports Achievement Award’, which recognises the hard work he has dedicated to his education and to his sport (swimming). International students from across the State, from all school sectors, were nominated by their schools for a range of categories, including Global Citizenship, Community Engagement, Academic Excellence and Sports Achievement. Gerald was justly rewarded for his contributions to his sport, his school and his community.

overwhelmed, and the confidence he had in Peru as a witty, popular teenage boy and an elite athlete vanished suddenly. But, channelling the determination that he knew so well, he persevered. Gerald’s family chose Salesian College Chadstone because of

Gerald’s journey towards being an elite sportsman and student began when he was a young boy growing up in Lima, the capital of Peru. A highly intelligent and also athletic child, he began competitive swimming at the age of eight, and by the age of just nine years he broke the record for the 50 metre backstroke in his country. Even at this young age, Gerald showed determination and tenacity, training more than seven sessions each week. He attended school during the day and trained most mornings and evenings. When Gerald was just fourteen years old, his family decided that it would be in his best interests to leave Peru to pursue his ambitions of becoming an elite swimmer in Australia, as well as gaining the opportunity of an excellent education abroad. Gerald and his father have come to Melbourne, leaving his baby brother, mother and extended family back in Peru. The journey has included significant sacrifice for Gerald and his close-knit family. Gerald started studying at Salesian College Chadstone in May of 2012, with very little English. To say that it wasn’t easy would be an understatement. Gerald felt

their strong Catholic faith. It was important for them that Gerald receive an excellent education in a school which, fundamentally, supported their strong religious beliefs. Gerald immersed himself in school life, quickly making many good friends and improving his English skills. He continued with his swimming ambitions too, joining the Nunawading Swimming Club within two weeks of arriving in the country. He started training six to seven sessions each week, often waking



up at 4:30am to train between 5:00am and 7:00am before catching the bus to school. To date, Gerald has had successes in Australia. However, his main goal is to join the national swimming team, a level of swimming that is much more difficult than in home country Peru. “I have to stay motivated… and I hope that all the pain I feel now is going to turn into

makes it his aim to get to know all newly arrived students at Salesian. He can often be seen at lunchtimes playing sport with both new and local students, encouraging all boys to maintain strong bonds of friendship and understanding, despite the language barrier. Since coming to Salesian College, Gerald has also contributed to the sporting success of the College. He has been the best performing swimmer at the Associated Catholic Colleges’ (ACC) swimming competitions, and he has played an important role in the success of the school soccer team and cross-country team. Gerald has consistently pushed himself to achieve his goals. Recently he was given the opportunity to speak at an International Student Forum which was convened by an organisation called American Field Service (AFS) Intercultural Programs, an American based worldwide student exchange organisation. He delivered his presentation in front of the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Mr James Merlino MP, and a host of other officials from the Victorian Education Department, school Principals and International and local students from across the state. He did so with determination and poise, describing to this group of people his experiences as an International student in Victoria, both the high points and the challenges he faced.

something successful one day… my strength is a source of inspiration for my family and my school community”. In addition to his swimming ambitions, Gerald hopes one day to go to University in Australia, to study design or architecture. He says that he has learnt a considerable amount since coming to Australia, specifically about the country, culture and, profoundly, about himself. Gerald

Nine winners of the International Student Awards from across the state were presented with their awards at Parliament House on Thursday 21 May. Gerald was justly awarded the Year 11 Sports Achievement Award. The Salesian College Chadstone school community congratulates Gerald on his successes and achievements in the sporting arena, as a valued member of our school, and as a remarkable individual.


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

Carl Egan Head of Sport

Finals The most successful Winter Season for some years saw Salesian in six Grand Finals. The Year 10 Soccer team played their final at Mazenod College for the second year in succession. After losing 5-4 last year, this year the boys showed great optimism. While it wasn’t a result that excited us (loss 3-0), one couldn’t question our endeavor. This Mazenod team has won four years in succession, and is one of the most talented sides to come through their college for some time. On behalf of Salesian College College we congratulate them. On the same day the Salesian Year 10 Football team entertained CBC St Kilda at the College oval. In a very close encounter, Salesian ran out winners 13.9.87 to 13.6.84, a great effort, with a special mention to Yianni Billias, who booted six goals. The best players in the final were Yianni Billias, Peter Sio and Michael D’Rozario. Finally, a special thanks to Mr Tim Cox on coaching the team for the term. The Senior 1st XI Soccer team reached the Grand Final, which was played at the Veneto Club, home of the Bulleen Lions. After a very close semi-final against Mazenod, winning 4-3 in extra time, we knew the final would be no easy game against St Bernard’s, to whom we had lost 3-1 during the season. It was a glorious afternoon, with perfect conditions for soccer. Many families and friends, as well as staff and students, were out in numbers to show their support for their schools

FINALS on the day. The game started very strongly for Salesian as the boys took control the entire first half. The breakthrough came just before the break after a cross was finished by a sublime header by Tapiwanashe Munyanyiwa. The break saw Salesian leading 1-0. The first five minutes of the second half started with the boys back in control before St Bernard’s took over for a 25 minute period. During this time they had control of possession and equalised 1-1. The boys were rattled after the goal, but fought back hard, taking ownership once again in the final 15 minutes. During this time,

Marcus Sawan, captain of the side, scored a great goal in the 85th minute to put Salesian on top once again. The sealer came in the 89th minute with a lovely strike from Delarno Pharoe. The final whistle blew and Salesian became 2015 ACC Champions. The celebration from the team, staff, students, families and friends was great to watch and experience. It was an exceptional game of soccer, played in great spirit and with respect and good sportsmanship. Well done to St Bernard’s for playing so well, and congratulations to our boys on a fine victory.

The last time we won the soccer premiership was against St Bernard’s back in 2003, when we won 2-1 in extra time, with our goals scored by Joe Tawfilis and Joe Fonte. The Salesian Year 9 Football team had a very strong season under Coach Steven Loonstra. The team won all but one game, which was a loss to Mazenod in the regular season, and this helped them finish on top, booking a home Grand Final. Salesian came up against a traditionally strong AFL school in Whitefriars, who are known to produce great footballers. The College oval, in great condition, was all


“The celebration from the team, staff, students, family and friends was great to watch. It was an exceptional game of soccer, played in great spirit and with respect and good sportsmanship.” The Year 8 Grand Final was played back to back with the Year 7 Grand Final. The Years 8’s were undefeated throughout the entire season. The challenge on the day was CBC St Kilda.

SEASON set for a final. Salesian came out of the blocks in the first half of the game 9.4.58 to 4.3.27. The boys fought very hard in the first half, with an outstanding performance by Daniel Marchese, who kicked three goals. The second half was déjà vu, with the boys picking up the tempo, booting another nine goals in the half. Our boys ran out winners 18.8.116 to 9.5.59, making them the 2015 ACC Year 9 Div. 2 Champions. All credit to Whitefriars, who put in a very gutsy display and kept going until the very end of the game. It has been a great season, and a big thank you must

go to Steven Loonstra for coaching the boys and a thank you to all the boys who participated. There were some standouts in the final. Zach Vanderputt played extremely well in the ruck with the odds against him because of the height difference, yet he found a way to win a large majority of the contests, and also to Daniel Marchese who finished up booting 7 goals in the win. Great team effort, boys! It was a glorious Thursday afternoon for football with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. The Year 7 Football Team who had gone down to St Bedes the week before by 17 points would face

them again, for the most important game of the season. The boys started slowly, going down by two goals, but quickly recovered by kicking the next three goals of the game. After this point in the game the boys never trailed again as they moved the ball skilfully in a great display. St Bedes were very competitive all the way to the final siren but credit to our boys who hung on to win the game 9.8.62 to 8.7.55. Congratulations to the boys and to Mr Campisano and Miss Simon for coaching throughout the season.

This game from start to end was hard football, with boys applying pressure constantly during the game. Salesian was down early but got back into the game at quarter time. After quarter time was a rough patch for the boys, only scoring one goal and a behind for two quarters. Trailing by 17 points going into the last quarter, the boys pushed for a victory giving it all they had. Unfortunately CBC St Kilda were strong in the backline in the dying minutes to hold on to a four point victory. Inaccuracy in our kicking resulted in 11 behinds to CBC’s 3 which was the difference on the day. Hard luck to our boys but it will be a driving motivation for the team in the years to come. Congratulations to all who participated in the side and to Mr Ryan for his coaching during the season.


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015

LIVING OUT SOCIAL JUSTICE “We believe that every person has the right to human dignity. Working as part of this team means that we work towards raising awareness and money to ensure that we can promote justice in our world.”


Why a Social Justice Group?

The Social Justice Group

Nadia Knight Assistant Principal Faith and Mission

Beau Watson Social Justice Captain

Fundamentally, social Justice is important to Salesian College Chadstone, as we believe that every person has the right to human dignity. Working as part of this team means that we work towards raising awareness and money to ensure that we can promote justice in our world. We believe that the duty of care for the poor and the oppressed is expressed in Catholic Social Teaching. Pillars that form the basis of our group include: • The dignity of every human being • Commitment to human rights and duties that protect human dignity • An obligation to the social and community dimension of human existence • Accountability of the individual to society • Responsibility of society to the individual • The important role voluntary organisations play in assisting people to find their way in society, and Christians’ duty to struggle for justice for all people. Our traditions, both Salesian and Catholic, provide us with an important resource for our decision making and the actions we take. We ask that our broader community joins us in our work for social justice, through pledging and contributions.

The Social Justice Group is an ever growing group within our College community. Meeting every Thursday at lunchtime to discuss ideas of future event coordination of the College Community, the group is currently working on the St Vincent de Paul Appeal and the Nepal raffle fundraiser, and to date has successfully coordinated a Casual Clothes day, raising money for an orphanage in Sri Lanka. During Term 3, focus will shift to Salesian Missions and, in particular, to the region of Samoa. We will run our annual Walkathon, which launches Community Week (Monday 7 – 11 September), raising money for the Salesian Technical School in Samoa.

A Casual Clothes Day Mrs Nadia Knight Assistant Principal Faith and Mission Edwin Saravanapavaan, Year 11 Leader, has of his own accord, and based on his strong sense of social justice, set up his organisation called Action against Adversity, which is a non-profit charity initiative for the orphanage at St John’s College in Sri Lanka. Details about his fundraising can be found at: www. Edwin proposed, organised and ran a Casual Clothes day on Friday 15 May. Staff and students were shown the above video to draw a link between the wearing of casual clothes and the orphanage. Edwin’s efforts raised $1,343.95, which was a wonderful contribution,

and displayed our fight against injustice. The College congratulates and applauds Edwin on his creative fundraising efforts.

St Vincent de Paul Collection The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia has more than 40,000 members and volunteers, who work hard to assist people in need and to combat social injustice across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 149 countries and has over 950,000 members. The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society. The College places specific importance on educating the students about the plight of those less fortunate, who go without basic human necessities. This education engages the students, creating empathetic, compassionate young men who instigate change in their community. Throughout Term Two, Oratory Groups have been feverishly collecting nonperishable food items, toiletries, winter clothing and blankets. Boxes are being filled, and we are looking forward to over a hundred boxes being donated to our local St Vincent’s distribution center, Jordonville.

Nepal Fundraiser On Saturday 25 April 2015, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal between Kathmandu and Pokhara. As emergency relief operations were taking place, a second earthquake of 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal 17 days later, on Tuesday 12 May 2015. The devastation in Nepal is immense, and communities across India and Bangladesh have also been affected. The Nepal government reports that there are more than 8,000 deaths, over 540,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged, and more than eight million people in 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts have been affected. With nearly 500,000 homes fully destroyed and another 266,561 damaged, emergency shelter is the most pressing priority. Families continue to live much of their lives outside, sleeping on the ground and only going into buildings for short bursts of time, as needed. Amongst this devastation, the Salesian family has opened its arms. Two Salesian schools that were spared impact by the earthquake are now acting as relief centres. Here at Salesian College Chadstone we want to assist our brothers and sisters who are helping where they can to further improve the lives of the Nepalese people after this tragic natural disaster. We thank our School Community for their fundraising generosity and making our efforts for those in need a collective effort. (Sources, and


GRIFFIN Autumn/Winter 2015


“Matters soon changed once we addressed the Assembly. We managed to amend the policy to ensure that change was progressive and that the resolution was passed in our favour.” A wise individual once said, “We worry about what an adolescent will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today”. Salesian College Chadstone, The Oakleigh Rotary Club and Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) recognise such potential. The 2015 Assembly, held on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 of May, provided an opportunity for youth from schools across Victoria to participate in a model discussion mimicking the United Nations Assembly, allowing students to indulge in politics, argue on current affairs and interact with like-minded individuals. Sponsored by the Oakleigh Rotary Club, Salesian College Chadstone, represented by us, Kishon Pawar and Edwin Saravanapavaan, entered the event and were assigned Saudi Arabia as our country that we would embody during the weekend. MUNA, a United Nations initiative, was brought to Australia in 1980, when Rotary Clubs in NSW were invited to sponsor a team of two students to represent a nation at an event which emulated the United Nations. The MUNA resolutions that are chosen are based on the ones debated by the UN, as well as some proposed by the teams.The debates reproduce genuine UN debates, often with a fine flow of rhetoric, points of order, and motions of dissent and bloc walkouts! The event required all participants to emulate their assigned country in terms of their national dress, their stance on global issues and to have a sound understanding of the country’s relations with other nations. Dressed in long white tunics and suits, along with the Arabic head-scarves, we aimed to showcase Saudi Arabia as a nation that is trying to achieve modernism whilst still preserving its heritage. We entered the parliamentary chambers and were seated. The assembly was now in session. Throughout the day we debated many issues, with one of the major ones being the “Violence against Women” policy. This was an area in which Saudi Arabia had a stark past and, as the delegates, we faced

a challenge as to how we would approach the resolution. The policy called for all member nations to legislate in immediate effect regulations to give women rights above and beyond religious customs and beliefs. At first we were certain about agreeing with the resolution. However, it soon struck us that, as a nation, Saudi Arabia still held many traditional beliefs which couldn’t be reversed overnight as the resolution had stated, hence we chose to argue against the policy. We contended that whilst “we still believe women should be liberated, for many developing nations such urgency in implementing it would be unrealistic and highly unachievable. Instead, we should introduce change in small doses to ensure that change actually happens.” With our stance in mind, we led the way in the discussion for the topic. The assembly members were both shocked and amused that Saudi Arabia was the only nation to oppose the policy. However, matters soon changed once we addressed the Assembly, who were impressed with the way we approached the issue. We managed to amend the policy to ensure that change was progressive, and the resolution was passed in our favour. Through the whole day we were able to refine our public speaking and debating skills, our ability to form speeches and rebuttal on the spot and gain the confidence to speak to numerous intellectual individuals. We were both able to engage in an event that not only empowered us, but gave us the opportunity to network and build friendships that have continued on to Facebook group chats and an upcoming re-MUNion organised by all the delegates themselves. The experience granted to us was a special one that we will cherish for a lifetime. Simply, the thought of debating in Parliament House, where many of our Nation’s great decisions are made, and to sit in the seats of esteemed politicians, make us so grateful for such an occasion. We would sincerely like to thank Salesian College Chadstone for providing such an amazing opportunity, as well the Oakleigh Rotary Club for sponsoring us, along with the MUNA organisation.


50s, 60s, 70s REUNION Staff and students from the 50s, 60s and 70s assembled on Thursday 10 September 2015 to reminisce about their former school years. Old collegians gathered with current Student Leaders for a celebratory mass, then embarked

on a tour of the school and caught up on old times with a social lunch. Keep an eye out in the Summer edition of the Griffin for the full event recap.



More than 100 past students from the class of 2014 gathered on Wednesday 24 June in the Kimberley Hall Foyer to celebrate their One Year Reunion. The evening was abuzz with many students taking the opportunity to catch up with past peers and past teachers.

Start making plans to put a table together for the 2016 Hall of Fame Dinner. Venue and Date to be announced in the next issue of the Griffin.

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Salesian griffin winter 2015 web  

Behind great stories there are extraordinary individuals. Each issue of the Griffin we search and speak with past and present students and...

Salesian griffin winter 2015 web  

Behind great stories there are extraordinary individuals. Each issue of the Griffin we search and speak with past and present students and...