From the Principal – 2022 Dux Assembly Address

Good morning Salesians, students, staff and parents,

In recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ spiritual and cultural connection to Country and 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 today’s Dux Assembly, an important event in our calendar to celebrate student achievement of our VCE students from the Class of 2021 and students across all year levels at the College.

Our Salesian College Vision states that we are a dynamic, joy-filled learning community, that inspires all boys to strive for excellence in the spirit of Don Bosco.

Today, our community celebrates the achievement of our high achievers in an environment of joy and optimism. Our assembly provides an opportunity to acknowledge the 2021 Salesian College students who challenged themselves to use their God given talents for further growth to achieve excellence in their studies.

Last year’s results were outstanding. I would like to commend all students, staff, parents, and members within our community who have contributed to the many stories of boys within our care.

Firstly, I would like to offer my congratulations to students from the class of 2021 and 2022 who received accolades today for their VCE and VCAL studies. To be recognised as a high achiever amongst your cohort is a considerable achievement and you should all be genuinely proud of yourselves.

Congratulations to 2021 College Dux Travis Pemberton who achieved an ATAR of 99.05, placing his result in the top 1% of students across Australia. Travis achieved the following Study Scores over 40: 46 Chemistry 46 English 46 Environmental Science. He has also been accepted to study Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne.

College Captain Steven Tran, who led the cohort and school admirably through lockdowns and restrictions, also achieved outstanding results. As the 2021 College Proxime Accesit Dux, Steven achieved an ATAR of 98.9 to be offered Biomedicine at Monash University.

I also congratulate Nicholas-Dimetriou Dickson who achieved 50 in Media Studies. Well done to teacher Mr Donaldson.

With 21 students achieving an ATAR of 90 or more, 48 achieving an ATAR of 80 or more and almost 9% of study scores being above 40, it became apparent that boys worked hard and that they collaborated with one another so that they can collectively achieve their best.

I congratulate the many current students from Years 8 to 12 who have received recognition for their academic achievements in 2021. It gives me great joy to celebrate your success.

There is a saying that…

Hard works beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

It is evident that the young men receiving awards today were dedicated to their studies, putting in the hard work.

Students have received university offers in Melbourne and interstate. We look forward in anticipation to the stories our graduates create as they begin their next learning experience.

There are many students not present today who have achieved personal excellence in their studies across a range of ATAR results, VCE unscored or VCAL pathways.

Each of our students from the Class of 2021 have learnt in different ways. Each have made different mistakes. Each responded and hopefully grown from these experiences and mistakes.

We all take different pathways to achieve success. We each must grow, develop and evolve as independent learners.

Not all students take up an academic pathway.

Increasingly, a number of students decide to achieve personal excellence in the VCAL pathway or embark on an unscored program for a variety of reasons. For those equally valued Year 12 students, success comes in many forms, including, work placements, apprenticeships or a non-scored VCE.

Each student achievement needs to be celebrated. We are proud of every boy for his academic achievements and wonderful contribution to school life at Chadstone, be it is the classroom, on stage performing, speaking behind a lectern, competing on the sports field or in their service to the community.

Our education at Salesian College Chadstone is holistic and focuses on being in relationship with others. This can be lost in highlighting learning achievement in numbers and scores, these results will not define the young men who graduated from Salesian College in 2021. Rather they leave as good Christians and honest citizens with Catholic values nourished by the Salesian charism and fond friendships with one another and of our school.

I commend every teacher and staff member within our community who have embraced our College values and taught the curriculum in challenging times, giving each boy the best possible opportunity to achieve their individual potential. Thank you.

I hope that the experience today at the Dux Assembly provides a source of aspiration for each of you and offers and opportunity for you to reflect and contemplate the possibilities ahead with your studies.

In conclusion, the message I give to each of you today is this:

  • Try and achieve personal excellence by working hard and accessing the wonderful teachers and resources at Salesian College no matter what pathway you pursue.
  • Be kind and compassionate to all that you meet. St John Bosco stated, “Always think well of everyone and be ready to help others. Do this and you will be happy.”
  • Importantly, instill our College values of belonging, respect, integrity, joy and dynamism in all that you do so you can serve our school and community as good Christians and honest citizens.

I wish each of you, both past pupils and current students all the best for the academic year.

Take care.

Mr Mark Ashmore