Don Bosco’s Oratory Week Reflections

Being part of the Salesian Family means that we support our brothers and sisters wherever they are and whatever their need is. A way that we, at Chadstone, do this is by providing a focus in our Term 2 Program, in particular, during Don Bosco’s Oratory Week. It is an important celebration that aims to celebrate:

  • Being part of the Salesian Family,
  • Being a faith filled community,
  • Who we are as a multi-cultural and diverse community,
  • The social justice work we dedicate ourselves to, and
  • The connection we have to the local community.

The week got off to a great start when the whole school participated in the annual Walkathon through the local streets. There was a great sense of solidarity and working together for a common goal. This year we were given the opportunity to raise awareness and money for the Salesians in Fiji who are currently working on building a Youth and Educational Centre to provide much-needed recreational and educational programs to the youth of Nasinu, a fast-growing area on the outskirts of Suva, which currently has very few facilities for young people to use. We hope that the centre will provide a safe and welcoming space for young people to socialise and learn. We often think of Fiji as a beautiful holiday destination, which it is, but we often forget the difficulties facing Fijians, in particular the young.

So far, we have raised $23,430.40 which will be a great start to supporting the building and furnishing of the Youth Centre. I thank all the boys and their families who support our event.

During the rest of the week, we continued celebrating…we had our traditional staff and student games (highlighted by the Staff vs Student debate and Spelling Bee) Sing Star, Chess, Wii competitions and even a visit from Don Bosco and Mamma Margaret who distributed polenta made by our budding chefs at Year 9! Music filled the air every day, which gave the place a real festival atmosphere. International food kept the boys fed, students attended Community Knowledge Sessions and participated in the Mary McKertich Public Speaking competitions.

On Friday, we celebrated Salesian Festival Day. The day began with games and breakfast treats which rolled into our customary Trivia Competition, this year won by 8B. We acknowledged our diversity with the procession of flags and Fr Bertagnolli celebrated Mass for us with a focus on developing an ‘Oratory Heart’. Cake was eaten, games were played and activities enjoyed, such as sports, kite making, drumming, cooking, stencilling, Lego pub trivia, Green Screen, Sing Star and making environmentally safe soap, sunscreen and lots more!

A great week was had by all. Thank you to everyone who got involved to make this year’s Don Bosco Oratory Week the best ever! Looking forward to 2019!

“My favourite activity was the cooking. The cooking was fun because I learnt how to make cookies. I also enjoyed the ‘Drive to Aspire’ car show and playing Super Smash Brothers on Nintendo Wii. I participated in the Sound, Stress Management and Headspace Community Knowledge sessions. The Sound Session was my favourite – it was very relaxing and nearly put me to sleep, listening to calm, relaxing meditation music!”
– Alvin Yala, 8H

“I started off the week by both attentively watching and being MC to our lunchtime performances whilst supporting my fellow peers. One of the most outstanding activities was the humorous Student vs Staff debate against English teachers and fellow students. This activity seemed to gather a large crowd and for good reason, as it was full of playful banter and humour that ultimately held the students victorious.

The Spelling Bee for Year 11s and 12s was also a major highlight for me, again bringing together the senior cohorts in a humorous manner as we competed against teachers on everything Salesian related. We all shared a laugh when a student misspelt a teacher’s name or a ridiculously hard word.

I was lucky enough to judge ‘Salesian’s Got Talent’, and while we only had a few acts on display, the show was full of the great selection of talent that is clearly and proudly displayed at Salesian College.

Lastly, the Sing Star activity also presented the brotherhood that we Salesians share, and many of us volunteered to hop on the mic to sing a couple of songs with our mates.

Don Bosco’s Oratory Week is one of the few times in the annual calendar that all members of the Salesian College community unite and share each other’s company. The week provides a great opportunity for us to raise money to help our Salesian brothers and sisters from all around the world and also to celebrate our large and proud community by taking part in activities.”

– Billy Drakopoulos, 12A

Don Bosco Oratory Week was a fun filled day that was well appreciated amongst all the students in the Year Nine cohort. Along the course of Oratory week, there were many Community Knowledge sessions to choose from. Each of these sessions talked about issues that are prevalent in our generation. One of the talks came from Batyr, an organisation that combats the stigma of mental health issues amongst young people. Batyr talked about how people should speak up and mention their issues. My favourite activity was participating in table tennis. A close second (even if it was not an activity) was the presence of the food trucks. These food trucks provided tasty food that filled the stomachs of everyone as they ventured around the campus completing tasks on Oratory day.

The Batyr knowledge session taught everyone, including myself, quite a bit. It talked about labelling individuals that we have not met and encouraged us to be frank with our thoughts when talking about this issue. We then went through series of activities that taught us, in a fun way, about rumours, and how they can spread like wildfire if one does not put a stop to them. In the end, we came back with an understanding about the modern generation and the problems associated with it.

The significance of Done Bosco’s Oratory Week lies within the fact that it brings together the members of the College in a way that is both fun and efficient. It also provides a refreshing break after a hectic week of exams.

All in all, Oratory week is as much anticipated for its fun as well as spiritual values, it unites the college in a way that is enjoyable by all.”

– Ben Abraham, 9B