2023 Valedictory Awards Recipients

The 2023 Michael Rua Award – for VCE Scored Academic Excellence is awarded to Peter Liptai. This is awarded to Peter who over his time at the College has:

  • Achieved outstanding academic results, consistently during his six years at the College
  • Demonstrated a consistent approach to achieving personal excellence
  • Shared his skills and knowledge by participating in authentic, collaborative learning that enriches others such as in classroom and study hall

Peter has demonstrated a strong and consistent commitment to the College community throughout his time at Salesian.  He has displayed strong leadership skills, actively contributed to College life and has maintained academic excellence in many areas. He consistently volunteers his time as a tour guide, has been actively involved in the performing and visual arts, creating an exceptional VCD portfolio. He has also starred in many College musicals as well as the senior rock band. His contribution as Vice School Captain has been outstanding.

Academically he is a high achiever as he undertook a Unit 3&4 study as a Year 11 student in 2022 where he was awarded the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Hungarian with a study score of 49.

The 2023 Michael Rua Award – VCE Vocational Major is awarded to James Avedissian-Brown who over his time at the College has:

  • Demonstrated personal excellence in each of the learning components of the Vocational Major Program
  • Demonstrated a high degree of independent and collaborative learning skills and knowledge, in a range of learning and work commitments
  • Strived for personal excellence whilst modelling himself on servant leadership qualities
  • Leadership for learning in a variety of learning environments

James has demonstrated consistent leadership in class, in projects and events and has been a positive advocate for the Applied Learning program within the College and at Parent Information Evenings as well as the wider community.  He is a mature individual and a positive role model for his peers.  He has demonstrated a strong commitment to both his studies and to his career development through his work placement. He constantly goes above and beyond with the major projects run within the Applied Learning space such as the: Food Around the World Festival, Bake Sale, World’s Greatest Shave and the Salesian Cup. He fosters great relationships with all his teachers and has been an excellent role model and mentor for the Year 11 Applied Learning students.

The 2023 Omnia Award is awarded to Roey Shesthr who, over his time at the College, has:

  • Made an outstanding contribution to community service within or behalf of Salesian College, thus living out our College motto of “all things to all people’.
  • Demonstrated a community mindedness and action, which is selfless, voluntary and regular, without the expectation of reward or recognition.

Roey is renowned for getting involved in all and everything he is able to and doing it with a smile.  He has acted as a House Leader for the last three years, engaging in all aspects of the Salesian community, encouraging younger year levels at house sporting events and engaging with them when out in the yard. Roey has volunteered for multiple endeavours and initiatives within the College and always approaches them with respect and positivity.


The 2023 ONMIA Award is awarded to Sam Dew (Vocational Major Senior) whom over the years has improved immensely in confidence.  He is an active participant in all Applied Learning projects, particularly fundraisers for various organisations, despite his challenges.  His willingness to make a difference in the community was recently demonstrated though him volunteering for the big freeze charity.

He has also completed outstanding work at Waverley Industries, which has resulted in him being offered employment there next year.


The 2023 Dominic Savio Award is awarded to Peter Holland who, over his time at the College, has:

Demonstrated personal growth and maturity, had significant involvement in artistic or sporting endeavours, Shown endeavour ‘above and beyond’ in some capacity. Been actively involved in the wider College community

Peter has shown great commitment to the College through his involvement in numerous events and activities. He has primarily been involved in sporting events, through representing the College at different events and through House Leadership.

Peter has had significant involvement in other aspects of College life, such as debating and public speaking, which he recently won the Senior McKertich Public Speaking Competition and his valuable contribution to the community as a leader.  Over the years he has shown endeavour above and beyond and is always willing to lend a hand.

The 2023 St Francis de Sales Award is awarded to Patrick Forster who over his time at the College has:

Consistently embodied, exhibited and promoted the vision, mission and values of the College in his conduct and relationships – both within and beyond the College community.

Patrick demonstrates the Salesian charism of a ‘strong mind and gentle heart’ and a ‘loving kindness’ in his relationships with others.

He is a humble and gentle young man. He is an inspiration to his peers with his fantastic work ethic and kind nature. He consistently promotes the vision and mission of the College in his relationships with others and the way he goes about his daily life. He has a wonderful sense of humour and is a loyal friend.

He has made valuable contributions to the College as an ACC representative in swimming, cross country and athletics. He is a National and State swimming champion, all the while being a wonderful human being.

He is always willing to give back to the College and wider community. He volunteers and works as life guard at his local pool. He is heavily involved in the mentoring and teaching of younger students at his swimming club, all this while maintaining excellent academic results.

He is the epitome of a true Salesian man, demonstrating a ‘strong mind and gentle heart’.

The 2023 Principal’s Award is an occasional award which may be presented to a Year 12 student, who has achieved commendably in Year 12 in spite of some particular and special hardships which he has had to contend with throughout the year. Like Bartholomew Garelli, the student recipient is resilient, persistent, is humble, yet quietly confident.

This year it was too difficult to set our recipients apart so there are two recipients Awarded.

The first 2023 Principal’s Award is awarded to James Batsis who received an overwhelming number of nominations from both his peers and teachers alike.

James has demonstrated outstanding resilience and dedication to his schooling in the last two years as he has faced health challenges.  Despite this he is a student that always has a smile on his face, a positive demeanour and attitude to his schooling.

He consistently acts with love and kindness, particularly with those who are less fortunate than him. He is generous with his time and utilises this to support fundraising and implementing other community programs at the college.  He is a beacon of light in our college community and embodies everything it means to be a good Salesian and respects all those he comes into contact with.

The second recipient of the 2023 Principal’s Award is awarded Sam Rizkalla who has overcome many obstacles in his life, but never lets this get him down.  He has a positive outlook in life, is friends with everyone and is always willing to “give things a go”

Despite his health challenges he participates in college events such as the house swimming carnival, ran in the house athletics carnival and was awarded the Victorian Table Tennis Champion for 2023.

Over his time at the College this individual has formed strong relationships with peers, teachers and staff and demonstrates the college values of joy and dynamism in all that he does.