From the Principal – End of Term 3 Assembly

Good afternoon Fr Joe, students and staff,

Welcome to our celebration to conclude Term 3. My hope is that everyone has demonstrated a love of work to allow their God given talents to shine this term. In John’s Gospel “Jesus said: ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’” As a Salesian College community students, staff and families have experienced life to the full in Term 3.

Acknowledgement to Country

I recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ spiritual and cultural connection to Country and a commitment to reconciliation, I acknowledge the First Peoples and the Traditional Owners and custodians of the Country, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation.

I respectfully acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging 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.


Did anyone see the news last week that reported Melbourne’s seaside suburb Frankston is set to get its own version of the iconic board game Monopoly?

The town’s most iconic institutions will replace Mayfair and Park Lane from the original board along with a localised ‘Community Chest’ and ‘Chance’ playing cards.

The new edition will pay tribute to all that is special about Frankston.

“With a history dating back to the mid-19th century, we’re excited to incorporate the area’s unique heritage into the game’s design, offering players a taste of its past, while also honouring all of the modern elements of the town,” Winning Moves representative Daniel Fuentes said in a statement. A lovely gesture by the board game owners. My initial thought was, “Why Frankston? Why not Chadstone considering it is in the heart of Melbourne?”

What landmarks would be on the Chadstone Monopoly game?

  • Chadstone Shopping Centre
  • Salesian College Bosco Campus
  • Salesian College Mannix Campus
  • Oakleigh Train Station
  • Scotchman’s Creek
  • Warrigal Road red light camera capturing most speeding drivers in Melbourne
  • Holmesglen TAFE

The list could continue…

With the Hawks out of the finals I have had time to think.

Houses, hotels, train stations, utilities and jails represent a community. But we all know communities are not built on bricks and mortar. It is built on people, values and culture.

“What if the Monopoly board game houses represented the aspects that really matter in a community?” “What if these aspects had a value that you can buy and sell?”

“What if the board represented our community at Salesian College Chadstone?”

The most expensive and prized settlements Park Lane and Mayfair could represent Our Lady Help of Christians and Jesus Christ. Don Bosco had a strong devotion to Our Blessed Mother who sees us as her children and wants her entire family to come to salvation in Jesus Christ. Every day we are guided by the teachings of Jesus and the actions of discipleship by Mary.

The expensive green properties – Regent Street, Oxford Street, Bond Street – maybe these can be a reference to Don Bosco’s preventive system being Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness. The value of the preventive system is great as it shapes how we act and respond to others whilst opening the door to the gospel and the love of Jesus. A young Giovanni Bosco had the dream at age 9 in which Mary and Jesus told him to make friends, not through punches, rather with gentleness and loving kindness.

The four train stations on the Board can represent a place of welcome, home and inclusivity – Bosco Street, Savio Street and Timmings Street stations. The fourth station you ask? Well the original board has Liverpool St Station so it seems only right to include this station. “You’ll never walk alone”.

The valuable yet affordable red and yellow properties is where the best value is on the Monopoly board.

Anyone care to guess what these properties represent on the Salesian College Chadstone board game?

Our College values – respect, belonging integrity, joy and dynamism. Our values say much about who we are and the culture in which we live. If we study, work and play in a joy-filled Catholic learning community centred on these values then we are all able to achieve our best

Jesus took all the blows of evil and responded with His divine love.  It takes tremendous restraint to not respond physically or verbally to others when confronted – but if we do, we can tap into the grace of Jesus’ suffering for others.  Our orange properties may indeed be humility, commitment and strength. Authentic humility is not the absence of strength, but it requires it. He who is humble and loving will always be loved by all. Don Bosco was able to continually demonstrate these traits in his interactions with young people and the people opposed to his leadership.

The purple and blue properties on the board represent holistic learning for boys. Each of you have amazing opportunities that allow you to become “good Christians and honest citizens”. The following activities this term may encompass these properties.

As a Catholic school for boys we have been able to provide experiences that have invited our young people into a relationship with Christ to create a sense of meaning and purpose. The College has had numerous community events centred around our Catholic and Salesian stories and rituals this term.

A highlight was the reverence expressed by students, staff and the wider community in the presence of the Relic of Don Bosco. Through prayer and contemplation individuals were significantly moved by the spirit of Don Bosco.

Don Bosco Festival Day allowed the community to pray together, learn more of our Salesian story, celebrate difference and have fun and make friends in activities in the playground. Faith in action was evident as our VCE Vocational Major students coordinated the Salesian Cup. It was an afternoon of a Senior football game, enjoying food and fundraising for Past Pupil Cameron Wales and his family in response to his serious injuries sustained overseas.

Each of you have continued to gain an appreciation the value of learning at school in a joyful and dynamic environment with their teachers and peers. We have celebrated student achievement in and out of the classroom.

Competitions and events include Year 8 Camp, Book Week, the Mary McKertich Public Speaking Awards and Student Congress further developed life skills. As a response to the Respectful Relationships Program, our senior students presented to parents ‘conversations that matter’, an open discussion about issues adolescence experience, as part of the SMASH (Salesian-Mazenod-Avila-Sacred Heart) collaboration.

Performing Arts students showcased their skills and talents, be it in the College Production “Guys and Dolls” with Sacred Heart Girls College, VCE recitals, solo music competition or the collaboration with Avila College and Sacred Heart Girls College for SMASH, a student led music evening.

In the ACC Salesian performed exceptionally well with the College finishing 5th in cross country championships. We are now in Division 1 for 2024 for all championship teams. Our Sports Awards Evening recognised individual and team achievements, including premierships and ACC team representatives.

The student leaders and the Wellbeing Team this week promoted Wellbeing Week and RUOK Day. The community responded positively and the dialogue amongst students and staff promoted positive health and wellbeing as well and support networks.

Students this term have also been involved in our master plan process with architects, planning student congress initiatives, greening our top yard, selecting student leadership and nominating peers for newly established Valedictory Awards for Year 12s.

The remaining two properties on the Monopoly board Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road…well they can represent the physical learning spaces at Bosco and Mannix. Our spaces for prayer, study and play make Salesian a special place and we each hold fond memories of areas across the College.

Learning is never linear. There are ups and down in life. The Chance and Community Chest cards may provide academic, relationship or financial challenges, cause mistakes or disrupt your goals.

I am reminded that Don Bosco had to ensure many of these challenges in his life – blended family, abusive childhood, studying and living in poverty, violence, and limited money to develop the Oratory and church. It is through a relationship with Our Lady Help of Christians and Jesus Christ in prayer and having good mentors/friends that he was able to achieve his goals.

Our Year 12s in the VCE Scored pathway have recently finished their internal assessments and now are participating in the examination preparation program and preparing for trial examinations in the holidays. The VCE Vocational Major students continue to display leadership, both in the classroom, the yard and other pursuits in the College. I wish the Class of 2023 well in their final weeks of studies and look forward to celebrating their achievements at the Valedictory Mass and Dinner.

To those who wish to pass “Go” and participate fully in College life gain many rewards are accessible – spiritual development, friendships, a joy of learning and achievement growth. Don Bosco said “Never postpone the good you can do today to tomorrow”.

I thank the staff for creating environments for boys to achieve personal excellence in the spirit of Don Bosco. I am very grateful to our outstanding teachers and support staff who are committed to your learning and wellbeing. Each are here at Salesian College to help you achieve personal excellence in the spirit of Don Bosco. The staff educate with ‘heart and mind’, always placing the dignity of the boy at the centre of their teaching and coaching. Do not take these people for granted as they do their work to make you the best version of yourself. Take the time to thank those who have helped your journey this term.

I too thank staff who have provided service to others and now depart the College. Thank you to:

  • Assistant Business Manager Reece Chang
  • Facilities David Jenkins

I thank them for being role models to our community, in the spirit of Don Bosco, to help ensure our vision and values are lived out in the everyday actions towards others.

Public Safety

Before I finish today I do want to emphasise looking out for each other and take some simple precautions in public during the next two weeks. Ensuring valuables are not visible, walking in small groups, not getting separated from friends or seeking an alternate venue will help create a safe and enjoyable time for you and your friends.

You should not be alarmed or anxious, rather be aware regarding public safety, catching public transport, and walking to and from school. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert and seek help if they feel unsafe.

I suggest that this afternoon and even at times across the holidays, Chadstone is may not be the best place to be social and to consider meeting friends elsewhere. I also encourage you not to engage rather give up your belongings and walk away as the situations may escalate.

The College is working closely with police, relevant authorities, and other schools regarding public safety at Chadstone Shopping Centre and surrounding areas.

Norman A. Smith Scholarship

In positive news for our community I congratulate Year 10 Thomas Maguire Nguyen on last night being awarded the Norman A. Smith Scholarship. The prestigious scholarship is awarded to Year 10 Students who reside, or attend a Secondary School, in The City of Monash. The object of the scholarship is to support Year 10 students to continue their education into tertiary studies with a view to becoming leading members of a profession or trade and contribute to the further development of the nation to the benefit of all Australians. Thomas is only the second Salesian student to be awarded the scholarship since its inception in 1986, the last being Callum Foat in 2007. His involvement in the school and community service, strong exam results and a captivating interview and speech enable Thomas to achieve the scholarship. Congratulations Thomas.

I thank the many staff and students who have contributed in the preparation and presentations to our assembly today.

I wish you all a safe and restful holiday, good luck with Monopoly during the term break and look forward to seeing you in Term 4.

I now ask that you stand and proudly sing our College Song.

Proudly we sing our song and
Faith-filled we journey along
Our traditions we hold true
Hail red, silver and blue
Striving to do our best we
Journey for excellence
In our studies and our play
Salesian way

Chadstone men we stand here together

Honour our story forever
Strong in mind with gentle hearts
Loyal to sons gone by
Don Bosco’s spirit before us
Our college motto calls us
‘To all people be all things’
Our pledge re-new
We’re side by side with joyful pride
Salesians true

Mark Ashmore