Junior School Newsletter

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents,

At our final Term 3 Heyington Assembly, there was our regular recognition of a broad range of SKC activities and success of groups and individuals. When we publicly recognise an activity and a person, we, as a community say, ‘Well done! This effort is commendable, and we value your skills and your interests’. Monday last, we valued: prayer; social justice involvement; student cooperation; academics; music; dance, sport and character development. Not a bad way to start a week!

Forty years ago, in the term break, I took on my first appointment as a teacher. In the old three-term year, it was the last term of the year, when a nervous, but strangely calm, young man started teaching at Shore in Sydney. I shared with the boys that this start put an end to the three jobs I had been holding down to fund life. The barman, assistant cook and swimming coach careers came to an end, but not without having taught me many lessons. Wealth does not bring happiness was a clear message from too many of the very successful men who spent most of my Friday 12-hour shifts in a city club. Respect for people comes from treating people as individuals not room numbers was a lesson taught well by the head chef who ensured each person’s particular tastes was part of their meals in the Turramurra nursing home where I worked preparing Sunday breakfast and lunch and then doing the dishes. The inner city migrant families who wanted their children safe in their new land, taught me something of their cultures and the cross-cultural exuberance of children as I taught them to swim. I guess I had been preparing to teach by more means than a History degree and some post-graduate education study.

There is much more to that 1978 story about my gratitude for the opportunity, and who and what had generously prepared me to take the chance. Let it simply be said, I quickly knew I had found my vocation rather than my job, and I hope that in 2018, my excitement about being a teacher is still evident.


Excellence Award

Oliver Palamara Honours Plus, Grade 8 Tap Dancing Examination


Headmaster's Study Awards

Year 12 Chemistry

Luis Fennessy

Alexander Phan

Anthony Salib

Lachlan Shewring

Theatre Studies Andrew Willett
Year 10 Digital Technologies Tunan Shi
IT Software Development Thomas Mikleus
Year 9 Mandarin

Matthew Attard

Kevin Huang

Dominic Morelli

Year 8 Digital Technologies

Ethan Duffy

Enash Manakkil

Jaemin Park

Year 7 Digital Technologies

Jason Abeywickrema

Joel Manakkil

Michael Wheelahan


Kind regards,

Stephen Russell

From the Director of Glendalough

Dear Community Members,

Here we are gathered around the table for a pre-game meal on this chilly Melbourne Saturday afternoon. 

In front of us are platters of tomato, lettuce, cheese and the biggest juiciest patties of preservative- free Angus beef. I have burnt the tips of all fingers toasting the dozen or so crusty bread rolls that I carry now to the table.  This kitchen is a strictly brioche -free zone. Pre-game burgers. What else!

Around the table sit my wife and daughter and our nineteen year old nephew who has just returned from spending the summer in Europe with our son.  We cling to his first hand accounts of how our boy is going in his life so far away.  Here also is my brother visiting from Brisbane.  With him are his two sons aged seven and eight. I have not seen them for over a year and am drinking in the sight and sound of them. Of how much they’ve grown. Still like themselves but more so. A young friend from the UK makes us eight in total. The circle around the table is complete.  The dog sits under my wife’s feet, knowing the most likely source of a tasty morsel.

Everyone is talking. Whether it is one all encompassing conversation or a cacophony of several smaller parallel ones, I cannot tell.  I suspect it is both and somewhere in between.  It is a web of talk and laughter. A net of connectivity thrown over us and binding us together. Whoever said you can’t have more than one conversation at once did not grow up in a large Irish family. Where some use Facebook to stay connected, we use talk and a dining table.

I bring the platter of buns and my burnt fingertips to the table and settle into my seat. It strikes me then, in a moment of clarity. The realization goes as quickly as it comes, like the parting of clouds to let the sun shine through.  In that moment the simple, uplifting truth is clear.  Life does not get any better than this. This is what it’s all about. Whatever challenges this day might bring, whatever trials I have endured throughout the week, this moment is enough. All else is stuff and nonsense.

I hope that the holiday period brings you clarity. A moment or two to step away from the stuff and nonsense. A moment of realization, of pure joy, to lift you up and to sustain you through the busy Term that lies ahead.

James Daly
Director of Glendalough

From the Dean of Faith

The moral of the story

Anyone who came to see the Year 8 play last week, The Princess King, directed by Ms Gilchrist, would have been delighted by this fractured fairytale. The story was too improbable to summarise but, rest assured, it did allow us to see our students dressed as bowling pins and galloping in a horse race on stage. There were some mighty gags, such as one about the royal staring contest. ‘Now that was one event where if you blinked you might just have missed it.’

Particularly memorable were the last few minutes when the actors wanted to sort out the moral of the tale. One by one, characters suggest possibilities. ‘That you’re never too old to learn something new.’ ‘A girl can grow up to lead a kingdom.’ ‘A man can cook a delicious lasagna.’ ‘That directing takes a lot of patience.’ ‘That whining accomplishes nothing.’ ‘That even a servant can come up with a brilliant plan.’ ‘That you are never too old for a bedtime story.’ ‘That extras are the heart and soul of every production.’ ‘That all you need are three loud chords and some rockin’ tunes to be happy.’

All these, with the possible exception of the one about the loud chords, are valuable lessons that carry well beyond the theatre. But the best moral of them all came from a rival prince who said ‘there are no small parts. Even a minor character can be a hero.’

Let these words be a coda for us at the end of another action-packed term. There are no small parts in God’s kingdom. God uses all sorts of people to reach through the business of our lives and remind us of the basics of love and truth. That’s the difference between the Kingdom of God, about which Jesus spoke, and the kingdoms you find in fairy tales. Also, you don’t wear pantaloons to be in God’s kingdom.

We hope this message comes home to our students in many ways, especially the ways they reach out to serve the community. Here, for example, are just a few small reflections from our Year 10 boys who take part in Community Service as part of their core curriculum every Wednesday afternoon.

The most significant and memorable moment was when my religion teacher came to our placement and asked all the residents if I was helpful and they enjoyed me being there and they all responded yes with wide grins. I learned from this experience that although people may or may not be able to show that they appreciate and enjoy your company they actually do enjoy you being there.

The most memorable thing was teaching one of the kids to read better and see him improving every week I help him. I learnt that I can do more than I think.

The most memorable thing that happened on Community Service is when I saw a little kid get a $1 toy from St Vincent de Paul and look so happy. This gave me the education that it doesn’t matter how expensive something is, it doesn’t always give you more happiness. Also to be grateful for what we get.

The most memorable thing was playing dominoes for two hours with a man called Edward. The whole time he was telling me about his life and upbringing. He was born in Vienna, Austria but then moved to Italy to spend his early life there, before moving again to Germany. I learnt that I, along with fellow schoolmates, have a wonderful life and should remember that we are privileged to be in the position we live in today.

The most significant, meaningful or memorable thing that happened to me on Community Service his year was being able to become friends with some of the residents while having afternoon tea with them. I learnt to be more patient as we spent a lot of time with the residents, and how to listen to others better. Overall during my time at Community Service, I became more comfortable with talking to adults who aren’t in my family and having more respect for the elderly.

Last semester I went to an Aged Care Centre, and there was a certain man called A. we would talk to every week. He had severe dementia and Alzheimer’s. My most memorable experience was when his wife, R. (who doesn’t live there because she is healthy and can take care of herself,) came to visit him. It was the only time I ever saw him lucid and ‘normal’. He was extremely happy and I had an actual conversation with him for the first time.

The most significant moment which occurred in my Community Service was when R., my dominos partner, was having trouble remembering very simple things that were part of his life such as if he had kids, what school he went to, how long he had been in the home. I learnt through Community Service to respect the elderly as they have lived much longer than myself and are actually very wise. I also learnt to always take opportunities that come to me in my life because life is short.

The most significant thing that happened was discovering that my Community Service placement was mostly accommodated with Vietnamese residents. This was quite a shock to me as this meant that I could use my ability to speak the language and I would be able to communicate better.

The most meaningful thing on Community Service was when I was talking with Jean about how we both used to live in Blackburn and we both discussed the area and good memories with each other of our childhoods and the familiar streets. I learnt that a little goes a long way in an aged care centre and the emotions and appreciation from the residents makes every little detail worth the sacrifice. 

Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith

Fullness of Life

  • Kenny students with Mr McGuigan assisted with the preparation and serving of breakfast at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
  • Year 8 students from 8G, 8H and 8I along with Mr Arai, Ms Squarci and Mr Swann, were on their Outdoor Education Program It is a journey based program set in the wonderfully scenic Gariwerd-Grampians National Park.
  • McCarthy students with Ms Phelan assisted with the serving of dinner at St Peter and Paul’s in South Melbourne.
  • Polding students at Glendalough held a football jumper fundraiser.
  • The Zimele Committee and Music Association met.
  • Year 11 Visual Communication Design students participated in the “Architect for a Day” Program.
  • Five Hundred Grandparents attended Grandparents’ Day at Glendalough.
  • Year 7 students were immunised.
  • Year 10 students watched a production of Julius Caesar.
  • The Basketball and Rugby teams celebrated their premierships.
  • The Water Polo Presentation Afternoon was held.
  • The Year 9 SKC/Genazzano production of Henry V was enjoyed over three evenings.
  • Year 12 students commenced their SACs/Practice Examinations.
  • Year 11 students participated in the “Fit to Drive Program.”
  • The European Art Tour departed.
  • Year 10 students continued Community Service.
  • Ms Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, delivered the Albert Street Lecture 4 to a large audience.
  • Cusack students and Mr Harris assisted with the Breakfast and Sports Program at Trinity Primary School in Richmond.
  • A Strings Masterclass was conducted in the McMahon Music Centre.
  • Year 7 Debating was held.
  • The GMA held an end of term lunch for Glendalough students.
  • Friday Morning Mass was held in the Chapel of St Kevin.
  • Glendalough students attended an End of Term Liturgy in the Boyd Egan Hall.
  • The SKC Athletics Legends Day was held at Tooronga.
  • Staff completed Professional Development at VCAA. 

Mr Ted Guinane
Director of Administration

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