Year 10 & 11 Subject Selection Evening

Good evening, Mr Ashmore, staff, students and distinguished guests.

My name is Marcelino and I am the College Captain here at Salesian College.

Subject selection is always an exciting time of the year and even more exciting now that you are selecting your VCE/VM subjects. I believe, that the most important thing at this time of year is to sit down with yourself and truly understand your own passions and desires. I went down the VCE pathway, so I’ll leave it to James to cover the VM pathway, however, a lot of the things I will address interrelate between the two.

So primarily, just pick the subjects you enjoy, not necessarily the traditional subjects, the most popular ones or those which your mates are doing. I think we can often be side-tracked by what everyone else is doing, but for me the most important thing was just focusing on myself and my own passions.

I ended up choosing Methods, Chemistry, Further Maths and Italian alongside English of course. I initially chose to do 1/2 Specialist Maths but found that it wasn’t for me and chose Further Maths instead for Units 3/4. This experience taught me that I could change any of my subjects and that the College is very supporting in facilitating this change for students.

The other essential thing that you should consider when selecting subjects is which ones are prerequisite for certain courses. If you can, I’d suggest to narrow down your uni courses to specific fields such as Science, Business etc.

This is important because, for example, Methods and Chemistry are two common prerequisites for university courses. I know that might be a little early to consider from now but it’s certainly important to begin thinking about it.

Nonetheless, in whichever subjects you choose, you will face a myriad of challenges that contest your resilience and perseverance. For me, some of the biggest challenges I faced, and still do face to be honest, is juggling all my subjects with family and social events, work, sport amongst other things. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times but the most important thing is staying on top of your workload and organising your time effectively so you don’t fall behind. Motivation and procrastination are also prominent study enemies, but the important thing is how you combat it.

I think it is also important to note that VCE is by no means a linear path where everything will be smooth sailing. You’ll have ups and downs, SACs that you do really well in, SACs that you’re not too happy about and that’s perfectly fine, you just can’t let it bog you down and ‘trust the process’ as they say.

I also encourage you to keep your social life and events, gym as well as sport. Don’t necessarily do all but rather find a balance between them. The truest concept of VCE is that you get out what you put in.

The last bit of advice I have for you is to enjoy it. Without a doubt, VCE is a lot about studies, but cherish the moments you have, the memories and friendships you make and get the most out of every possible opportunity. You’ll blink and be in my shoes and soon after walking out of the College Hall for the last time. It absolutely flies.

That’s all from me. I hope I haven’t scared you too much, and that you took a couple things from what I said. I wish you all the best of luck for the rest of the year and beyond.

Marcellino Baselyous
College Captain


Good evening students and parents, my name is Pete Holland and I am a college vice-Captain. This year, I am studying English, Literature, Environmental science, Chemistry, and VET Chinese. I want to study arts/law at Monash university next year, that course doesn’t require any subjects as pre-requesets, but does require a high ATAR. Therefore, I picked my subjects to meet that specification. I think there is a common misconception that there are hard and easy VCE subjects. VCE is an inherently difficult course, and subject scaling removes any remaining discrepancies between subjects. Although, there are subjects that you enjoy and ones you don’t. Whilst they are an eclectic mix, I enjoy all of my subjects, because it’s a lot easier to study for something when you enjoy it.

If I had my time again I would change my outlook on subjects and school. Math can be challenging at times, but if you decide it’s too difficult or that you can’t do it – the chances are that you won’t. Avoid leaning into harmful stereotypes by saying that methods is the hard subject or that English is forced, because it will save you stress and improve your overall performance.

I don’t think we spend enough time appreciating the opportunity of school; we’ve been given thirteen years to spend purely on improving ourselves. We will continue to grow as people once we leave school, VCE/VM connects these two stages of development. Boys, if you want to kick start your progression down the path of success, VCE/VM could be your springboard. But, it has to come from you, your parents and teachers can encourage you all they like, but you’re ultimately in control. Please don’t think that a high ATAR is the only path to success, you will be presented with many different opportunities along the way, and I encourage you to work hard for those opportunities.

Thank you

Peter Holland
College Vice Captain


My name is James A-B and I am a year 12 student studying VCE-VM. I joined the program in year 11 and I am studying Electrotechnology as my TAFE component.

Firstly, I will start with how I ended up in the VCE-VM program. Throughout my time at Salesian college I always enjoyed subjects that got me active in the classroom and kept me busy such as Design and Technology and Systems and Technology as these subjects allowed me to be creative and use and build upon my skills, so it was a no brainer at the end of Year 10 to join the Applied Learning program.

I also knew I wanted to pursue a trade in my future, this course allowed me to stay at school with my friends, complete my certificate 2 as well as Structured workplace learning.

Secondly, what would I do differently is I would take more time on choosing which Trade I wanted to complete at TAFE, as I started one course in year 11 and decided to change my course for year 12.

It’s ok to switch courses and I still learnt a lot completing plumbing in year 11.

The VCE-VM program gives you so many great opportunities to develop your skills, such as leadership, teamwork, as well as industry specific skills such as punctuality, organisation and interpersonal skills. It’s important to take every opportunity when doing work experience or when you’re at Tafe – be attentive and use these opportunities to learn as much as possible. The Applied Learning program can be as valuable as you make it.

James Avedissian-Brown
College Applied Learning Captain