Commissioning Mass of Mark Ashmore

On the 28th of January 2022, Mark Ashmore was formally commissioned as the 11th Principal of Salesian College Chadstone in a Mass attended by our Liturgical community, staff, local members of government and council and College Board Directors.

We welcome and congratulate Mark. Read his speech and see pictures of the Commissioning Mass below:

“Good evening Salesian Provincial Fr Will Matthews, College Rector Fr Joe Binh Dinh, members of our Salesian community, College Board Directors, local members of government and council, representatives from the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Australia Pacific Salesian Principals Association, Principal Association of Catholic Secondary Schools, Associated Catholic Colleges, students, staff and parents of Salesian College, friends and family,

I begin by recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ spiritual and cultural connection to Country and as a commitment to Reconciliation, I would like to acknowledge the First Peoples and the Traditional Owners and custodians of the Country.

We respectfully acknowledge our Elders past and present and remember that they have passed on their wisdom to us in various ways. Let us hold this in trust as we work and serve our communities.

A warm welcome to Salesian College Chadstone.

It is wonderful to be here with you this evening as I am commissioned into the role of Principal of Salesian College Chadstone.

I am excited to be joining this vibrant community that is guided by our Catholic faith and nourished by the Salesian charism.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that has been entrusted to me by the Board and the Salesians to lead this dynamic community.

As the 11th Principal of Salesian College in its 65th year, I certainly follow faith and educational leaders that have positively shaped the school and provided boys, and girls, with wonderful learning opportunities.

The spirit and philosophy of St John Bosco permeates the classrooms, theatres, sports fields and the yard. It is this Salesian spirituality that I briefly experienced at Xavier College Gawler Belt as a graduate teacher that drew me to apply for the role of Principal at this school. The Salesian spirituality, outlined in the commissioning mass, is something I take great responsibility to ensure students, families, staff and guests experience this gift.

The vision, mission and values of the College are very closely aligned to my own values and philosophy of educating boys in a Catholic context.

Whilst this evening is in recognition of my commissioning to the role, I am very grateful for the love, support and guidance from many of you here this evening.

Since commencing in the role, I have been made to feel welcome from students, staff, families and past pupils of the College.

I am appreciative of the boys who have shared their love of the school and interests, particularly our student leaders who are with us this evening. I look forward to further building rapport with the students and empowering them to be the best version of themselves.

Collaborating with staff to continue to strategically improve learning outcomes for all in our community will be a focus. I am excited to be working with such passionate staff who embrace the teachings of Don Bosco and have student learning and wellbeing at the heart of their work.

Thank you to my wife Jen who has encouraged and supported me in life and recently in this leadership role.

Thank you to my family who have helped shaped me to be the person I am today so that I can serve this community with the values instilled in me; respect, optimism, kindness and compassion. It is great that we are here together having come from near and far.

I have been very fortunate to have been coached and mentored by some outstanding educational leaders in my work in Catholic education. Thank you to Mark, John, Greg, Peter and Vick who are here this evening. The ongoing support and friendship, it is very much appreciated.

I look forward to my new association with the Salesians and the Salesian Principal Association to learn more about St John Bosco, St Francis De Sales and our schools.

Events like this do not just happen. I thank our outgoing College Rector Fr Greg Chambers for his diligence in preparing the mass and commissioning; Fr Will and Fr Joe for the liturgy and my PA, Mary Menz for managing the event and organising the catering.

Thank you, once again for joining me in this celebration. I hope you enjoy each other’s company and the food and drinks.”