Salesian College Publications
Salesian College is proud of its suite of publications. Access our College Annuals or bi-annual Griffin Magazines.
All Griffin Editions
We each have a story. This Summer edition of the Griffin we take time to pause, celebrate and amplify the stories of our students, alumni and community whose actions inspire others to live out the words of St Francis de Sales, “Be who you are and be that well”, contributing in an authentic way and fostering a true sense of belonging and connection.
As we look to alumni within our community who inspire and bring joy to others, we shine a light on 2023 Hall of Fame inductees, Joe Salanitri
(Class of 1995) and Carlo Salanitri (Class of 1999) and their best friend Andrew Manfre (Class of 1995), who form the comedy trio, Sooshi Mango. Captivating global audiences with their witty humour and entertaining sketches, inspired by their experiences growing up in an
Italian family, Sooshi Mango are the only comedy act to sell out Rod Laver Arena three times in a row. Touring the stage with their comedy skits, posts and videos, they also host the Sooshi Mango Saucy Meatballs Podcast that accrues millions of ‘likes’ that features a mixture of special guests, comedy segments, prank calls and current issues in modern life.
Our 2022 Winter Griffin features past student and Macro-Financial Economist Chris Becker (Class of 1988).
With over 25 years in central banking as a Macro-financial Economist and Advisor on Emerging Markets in Asia & the Pacific, today Chris is the Economics Advisor to the Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.
Shaping the decisions that influence global policy is Chris’ every day task, and to him, that’s where it matters, “for great satisfaction can come from discovering new things and rising to new challenges”.
With its enormous cultural diversity, he describes Washington as a vast melting pot of ideas and policy advice, attributing the “way to influence global policies is to stir the pot and occasionally add seasoning and a side of diplomacy to convince the rest of the world of the best solution”.
With charisma and clear values, Chris shares how, for him, meaning and purpose evolved out of the moments he gained perspective visiting developing countries, in the moments when the advice shared made a genuine difference to how people lived their lives, for “trade is not just re-connecting countries, but also communities within countries”.
Our 2021 Summer Griffin features former Australian-Dutch professional cricketer, skier, commentator Dirk Nannes (Class of 1991).
One of the first freelance cricketers in the world to represent multiple teams on the international stage, Dirk shares how he managed a back-to-back ten-year professional cricket career by day, with a full-time multi-million-dollar business career out of hours. Below the exterior relaxed personality, Dirk is a hard-working, big picture thinker, who learnt right from wrong in his early school days. Connected to individuals, Dirk continues to live out Don Bosco words in action of “doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well”, demonstrating to past and present students the value of a resilient mindset, open to embracing change.
Our 2021 Winter Griffin features past student and Road Safety Camera Commissioner for Victoria, Stephen Leane (Class of 1979). Stephen is committed to keeping Victoria safe, with 40 years’ experience in previous senior command roles. Stephen understands what it takes to develop and drive national change and Federal laws, working with a broad range of people who influence how Australians live their everyday lives.
Our 2020 Summer Griffin magazine features longest-serving Independent Northern Territory Parliamentarian and Class of 1967 past student Gerry Wood, who enters retirement after his 19 years serving the people of Nelson. “To listen and to lead” has been at the core of Gerry’s direct approach to life, authentically connecting to often challenging community topics. Holding space for an opposing opinion and standing up against a popularist view when needed is at the core of his belief system.
Our 2020 Winter Griffin features CEO of the Reach Foundation, Sasha Lawrence (Class of 2007). At fifteen years of age, Sasha Lawrence embarked on a Salesian College Chadstone student leadership opportunity run by The Reach Foundation. At the age of 28, Sasha took leave of absence from his managerial role at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to return to the iconic Jim Stynes founded Australian charity as CEO. Steering a philanthropic ship through the chaos of COVID-19, Sasha reflects on his learnings and the impact of making values-led decisions.
Former Ten Tenors member and Class of 2003 past student Adrian Li Donni is no stranger to the stage. The past three consecutive years have seen him complete multiple national and worldwide tours, releasing his most recent album, Wish You Were Here (Sony Music Australia).
As a Green Room Award Winner and a Graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School, New York, his production career is extensive: Muriel’s Wedding, Miss Saigon, Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The King and I, to name a few. But for Adrian, his craft is more than just bright lights and centre stage. Bringing truth and authenticity to his work is crucial to creating a sense of meaning and purpose. “To give somebody some feeling of their humanity that they maybe haven’t been able to tap into, that’s the power of good theatre.”
Representing national interests on the global stage is an assignment Class of 1975 past student Gerard Rodrigues understands well. Today, as Superintendent and national Compliance Operations lead for the Australian Border Force (ABF), Gerard shares insight into how the fabric of the ABF was catapulted into immense change on the day that revolutionised world trade forever; September 11, 2001.
In his own calm and polished communicative way, it’s clear why he’s a brains trust to the United Nations and World Customs Organisation, delivering change and representing Australia. But his commitment to the public is more than just boardrooms and strategy. In his realness, he shares openly about the moments in his life that he didn’t see coming, which altered his life perspective forever, and how being truly happy is life’s biggest achievement.
Best-selling author and award-winning parenting educator, Class of 1973 past student Michael Grose is visibly progressive in thinking and practical in action. Some 20 years post taking a risk on a research opportunity and stepping onto the parenting stage, he today prepares the final chapter in his soon to be 11th best-selling book.
In a refreshingly straight-shooting interview, Michael shares how being open to change and learning is the key to not only remaining relevant, but excelling professionally and developmentally. He delivers insight into his own child-rearing strategies and how parenting is a forever journey – a relationship that requires commitment and considered effort across all ages and stages of the life cycle.
Multi-award winning ABC journalist and Class of 1998 past student Jason Om understands not only the role of storytelling at the highest level, but also the art of listening and empathy that goes with the skill of a quality journalist. With a directed, unwavering commitment to his cause of informing the public, Jason shares insight into his high school years – a difficult time in his life during which he lost his mother. He speaks candidly about his desire to get to know his culture and the woman “he didn’t get the chance to know”.
In 2018, Jason is one of ten accomplished individuals who ran for the next five-year term on the ABC Board. In an open and honest interview, Jason shares how journalism became his passion, and how his multi-faith, multi-ethnic background contributes to how he understands the world around him and where he is today.
In the Summer 2017 edition of our Griffin magazine, we speak with past student (Class of 1964) and leading Golden Era Television Director turned Federal Politician, David E Charles. Working alongside entertainment industry icons, Graham Kennedy and Tony Charlton, David flourished under the pressure of the behind-the-scenes action that brought the Golden Era to households around the country. Motivated to reach further and fulfil his inherent passion for politics, David branched off from his directing career on 18 October, 1980, when he became the first past pupil to enter Federal Politics as Member for Isaacs. In an insightful and honest interview, David shares how leaps of faith in his life have proved to generate some of his greatest achievements, and how staying true to the Salesian ethos of love and Christianity remain two of the most important ingredients to achieving success.
Past student, Founder and Managing Director of Vietnamese hawker style food franchises, ‘Rolld’ and ‘Mama’s Buoi’, Bao Hoang’s ability to embrace opportunity is taking the franchise world by storm. Son to Vietnamese migrants, Van Quy and Thi Phien Hoang, Bao speaks candidly about why family is central to his global business model and his own personal quest to living an authentic life. Today, Bao is Global Winner of the NextGen Award in Franchising, and ‘Rolld’ is ranked #4 on the BRW Fast Starters Lists of all business in Australia. In his own considered and progressive style, Bao reveals how his family’s personal migrant journey is a constant reminder to embrace each day with perseverance, optimism and genuine faith in humanity.
Past student and former Head of the Defence Centre, Sydney, Commodore Alan Thompson’s extraordinary commitment to the service of Australia has spanned close to three decades. At the height of his career, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January, 1993 for his outstanding commitment to Defence Force personnel policy development. Alan speaks humbly about his impact on the Australian Defence Force, and the moment on College grounds 54 years ago that became the turning point in understanding that the ability to alter attitudes and habits is within us all.
Past student and leading Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre clinician-researcher, Professor Mark Dawson’s ongoing commitment to learning and innovation is ‘leap frogging’ our understanding of cancer; transforming prevention and treatment to save and extend lives. Today, Mark is the Program Head for Haematology Cancer Therapeutics and also leads a group of researchers in the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. His research focuses on identifying new therapies for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML); a disease which holds a poor prognosis. Mark speaks candidly about the innovation landscape, his commitment to the cause and the people along the way who have helped shape his extraordinary, meaningful career path.
Past student and hero Firefighter Andrew Wood relives the night on the job that changed his life. Post this experience, Andrew is calling for a law to be passed to support firefighters contracting work-related cancer, and states that shedding light on mental illness is his priority.