Principal's Blog - 18 May 2017

15 May 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Sometimes I look back over a week in the life of our College and am overwhelmed by the diversity and sheer volume of opportunities, activities and experiences which are provided for our boys, our staff and our families. Allow me to paint a picture…

Saturday May 6: AGSV & VSRU schools competitions held at Marcellin. Every spare inch of grass on our expansive fields covered in young men testing their skills, building relationships and mostly just having fun. Buses coming and going ferrying students and coaches to all corners of Melbourne to compete against the eight other AGSV & VSRU schools in sports as diverse as Hockey and Cross Country or Soccer and Rugby. Parents on the sidelines supporting their sons whilst engaging in conversation with other parents and the occasional Principal wandering past. Coaches encouraging students, having a quiet word in the ear or shouting with delight when a student kicks his first ever goal.

Monday May 8: Senior leaders gather off sight for a day of strategic planning. In the busyness of daily life in a large Faith and educational institution it is important to step back every now and then and to follow the advice of the inspiring Bishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero, who said, we need to take the long view. This group of highly talented, creative, innovative and deeply committed members of the Marcellin Community discerned such broad and complex ideas as The role of the Teacher in a contemporary educational setting, The long view – School Improvement Plan 2018-2020, Next stages of the College Master Plan, among other aspects of the longer term development of Marcellin College.

Tuesday May 9: Year 12 seminar day. This is the College’s Year 12 Religious Education and Faith development program which asks the Class of 2017 to stop and reflect on the bigger questions of life. Questions and issues which they will face beyond the school. Questions and issues which will challenge their understanding of right and wrong and which require them to reflect on the direction of the own moral compass. This week’s topic was gambling. We spoke about the many and varied ways that the multitude of gambling companies are enticing young people to gamble. More importantly we spoke about the impact of gambling on people’s lives and the broader social implications of  this often hidden problem in our society. I was very impressed with the mature and sensitive ways our boys spoke about this issue and the concern they showed for people who are often addicted to this activity.

Wednesday May 10 7am: It only took six minutes to sell out but those who were fortunate to gain a ticket will take away a lifetime of memories from our Mother’s day breakfast, so beautifully presented to our community by the MCCA and the Marcellin Foundation.  Our guest speaker Bernadette Dinneen spoke with eloquence, humility and gratitude about her life and her role as a mother. All those gathered were privileged to hear Bernadette’s story of triumph over adversity and love for her family. We were also inspired by the story of Jack Totino who joined us via FaceTime from Perth as he endeavors to cycle solo around Australia to raise awareness of and funds for Motor Neuron Disease.

Wednesday May 10 7pm: Fifteen young men and their families gather in Rivat House to celebrate their return from six weeks in China as part of the Victorian Young Leaders to China program sponsored by the state government of Victoria. Six weeks immersed in language and culture. All the while brilliantly and deftly supported by Rose Chapple and John Diano as these young men grew in knowledge, not only regarding the Chinese language but equally importantly its culture, its people and its land. Relationships were formed, awareness was raised and lessons were learnt which will stay with these boys throughout their lives.

Thursday May 11 (morning): I attended mass with the beautiful boys of Redden House. 8.2 had thoughtfully and diligently prepared our Mass and our musicians and singers were all ready to lead our congregation in singing. All we needed was a priest. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances one of our generous and supportive priests was not able to make it. Our AP (Mission) Carolyn Young decided that we could hold a communion service using the consecrated host in our tabernacle. I was very impressed with the way our boys adjusted to the change in circumstances and the prayerful and reverent way they participated in this different celebration of the Eucharist.

Thursday May 11 (evening): Twenty Marcellin Staff attended the annual Women in Leadership dinner at the RACV in Melbourne hosted by the Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools Deputy Principals Association. The evening was a wonderful celebration of our broader Catholic family and of women who demonstrate skilled, active and valuable leadership in our schools. Our guest speaker Professor Lea Waters spoke with passion and knowledge about her role as the President of the International Positive Psychology Association and Professor of Positive Psychology at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Professor Waters encouraged us all to overcome our fears and face life with positivity and confidence.

Friday May 12: A large crowd gathered at the OLMC theatre in Heidelberg to marvel at the musical and theatrical talents of fifty young people from Marcellin and OLMC as they performed the Stage Musical Legally Blonde. M2 theatre has gone from strength to strength in its fourteen year history. Countless young people have shone on the stage in the OLMC theatre. Many have gone on to careers on the world stage while others have taken away increased confidence and friendships which will last them a lifetime. This year’s offering showcased the brilliant acting, singing and dancing talents of the boys and girls from our respective Colleges and all who were present were witness to a high quality and entertaining performance. Thanks to Director Hayley Gamble and the staff of OLMC along with Marcellin Liaison Michelle Abrahmsen for their dedication and hard work in supporting our students to reach great heights of performance.

What a great community to be a part of! 

Mark Murphy