It has been a very difficult week for the Salesian College Sunbury community as we mourn the loss of two past pupils; Cameron Wishart (Class of 2003) and Nathan Duarte (Class of 2012). Both deaths were unexpected and their families are absolutely devastated as they come to terms with the reality of life without them. I have no doubt that their passing will leave indelible marks on the hearts of all who knew them as they were both men who lived life to the full and who cared deeply for their friends and family. One word used at the funerals to describe both Cameron and Nathan was kind. It sounds like such a simple quality to possess, but the act of kindness is a far more complex habit to adopt than we might think, but one that is clearly universally appreciated.
I think the secret to acting with kindness is not to second-guess our first generous impulses. I know myself that if I hesitate to help someone – to offer a coin or a lift, to hold a door open or to give someone the time of day – the opportunity passes me by and I’m left with feelings of regret. The life of Christ sets us the perfect example of how to live. No opportunity to be kind passed Jesus by, even if he wasn’t directly asked for help. The gospels overflow with the broken and the needy – lepers, the blind and deaf, the adulterous, the outcast, the mourners. Christ always saw through to the hearts of those who believed in him and left them in no doubt of his love.
The gift of kindness that both Cameron and Nathan showed others is a gift from Christ that each of us can repay each day if only we listen to the needs of those around us. In my silent prayers for both boys, I am reminded of Don Bosco’s own words about the value of kindness in our work with young people: “Everything and everyone is won by the sweetness of our words and works”. Rest in peace Cameron and Nathan – your kindness to others will never be forgotten.
Last week our Year 9s ventured off into the Victorian wilderness for a weeklong outdoor adventure experience. From the reports I received from everyone involved, the week was an unqualified success! My sincere thanks to the Year 9 Camp Team for their inspiring leadership – Will Johnston, Cassi Bottrell, Alex Jehle, Luisa Villani, Meg Crilly, Ray Messer, Josh Pink, Emma Hiho, Emma Heupt, Janine Higham, Melanie Fattore, Ross Ogilvie, Anthony Diamond, Holly Forrest, Marc Kovacevic, Michael Fitzgerald and Dino Martiniello.
Last Tuesday and Thursday evenings, we welcomed our 2020 cohort of parents to the College for an informative program regarding the transition to secondary education. It was wonderful to see both new and familiar faces amongst the crowd as they listened in earnest to presentations from key staff regarding transition issues such as, elective selection, uniforms, wellbeing matters and much more.
As their children commence their last semester in primary school, important advice was shared about how best to prepare for the next step in their educational journey. We look forward to getting to know each of our newest community members in the coming months as they experience a range of transition activities, culminating in Orientation Day on 6 December.
Students from across most year levels are knee deep in end of semester exams and assessments, including the General Achievement Test, or GAT, for students undertaking Unit 3/4 studies.
These are an important few weeks on our calendar, and I ask parents to support their student’s preparation for these key assessments by encouraging a sense of focus and suitable revision. These assessments will be shortly followed by the preparation and distribution of Semester Reports which will provide important feedback on student progress.
It’s always wonderful to hear about the achievements of our students outside of school, and last week we were thrilled to read about Alexandra De Bono (Year 11, MO) who successfully applied for an internship at the prestigious New York Times. It involves an extensive amount of creative writing classes, poetry workshops and input from highly regarded authors. Alexandra hopes to further hone her writing skills and pursue her passion for journalism. Congratulations Alexandra!
Salesian College Sunbury is a large community of students, staff and parents, both past and present. Please keep the following in your prayers:
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME
Do this in memory of me and in memory of the living poor;
In memory of me and in memory of the living lonely, the starving and the homeless;
In memory of me and in memory of the ones who came for healing and in memory of the ones who came for forgiveness;
In memory of me and in memory of the ones who came for acceptance and in memory of the ones who came searching for God.
Do this in memory of one who died so that all could live.
Read an update from Acting Principal, Mrs Angela Romano
An update from our Principal, Mr Mark Brockhus, as we prepare to commence the 2019 school year.
Cricket great, Darren Lehmann, visited last week as part of our Ashes Oval Redevelopment Project and our Father's Day Breakfast