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Roll Call Roll Call

Posted by Peter Houlihan on 26 October 2021
Roll Call Roll Call

Welcome to the September 2021 edition of Roll Call.

This edition of Roll Call offers a terrific presentation of the achievements and community contributions of a rich variety of talented, successful and generous Old Collegians. Sadly, yet predictably, a number of the College events we had planned to report on in this edition have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, but there is still plenty to update you on. 

Recently, De La Salle College launched an initiative to refresh our Old Collegians database and build a new and vibrant Old Collegians Association. Bigger, better and more frequent events for Old Collegians are in the pipeline, designed to enhance your connection with the College and your past classmates. More information will be forthcoming soon, but if you do know of any Old Colls whose details are not up to date, please encourage them to contact our Alumni Office or connect via the College’s social media platforms. 

This year, we have launched a pilot High Performance Program for football, soccer, basketball, cricket, swimming and athletics, with plans to expand this in 2022 and beyond. Year 7 and 8 students have been invited to join the Kennedy Club for Football, the Agar Academy for Cricket, the Sean Macdonald Basketball Squad, the De La Salle Soccer program and the DLS Torpedoes Swim team. Thank you to John Kennedy Jnr (1977) and the Agar family (Ashton 2011, Will 2013 and Wes 2014) for granting permission to have the squads named in their honour. Sean Macdonald (2018), an elite basketballer, who represented Australia at various under-age levels, has also lent his name to the program, for which we are very appreciative. Football, soccer, basketball and swimming were just underway before lockdown interrupted, with cricket and athletics set to launch later in the year. 

The High Performance Program is designed to provide elite, specialist coaching in all aspects of the students’ chosen sport, drawing on the expertise of a variety of external experts to work with our young men. For example, Mick Stinear (2002), Melbourne AFLW Coach, Melbourne AFL Assistant Coach and Director of Coaching at the Old Colls Football Club, has come on staff as Director of Football. Mick helped with various teams at training and match days during our Term 2 season and is now drafting recommendations for improvements to our football program for 2022 and beyond. The aim of the Program is to improve the overall experience, quality and enjoyment of sport at De La Salle. 

As we navigate our second year of COVID-19 and our interrupted academic program, with many cancelled and postponed activities and events, it has become increasingly important to revise how we operate as a school. The mental health and wellbeing of students and staff have become major emphases, with the days of just concerning ourselves with academics, co-curricular, spirituality and general administration a distant memory. 

I have been very pleased with and genuinely proud of the way our College community has managed to not just cope, but flourish in dramatically changed circumstances. 

To add to the complexity, we operate very much in a constantly shifting landscape. Relatively regular lockdowns, mostly at very short notice, have seen staff and students transition seamlessly to remote learning the very next day. Supporting each other to be adaptable, to build resilience, to remain positive and look forward with optimism. Building a trust that things will improve, and our school year will turn out okay is a new part of life in a school! 
In recent months, we have also launched a major marketing campaign with the intention of maintaining and building enrolments in an increasingly competitive market. You may have noticed various billboards on major thoroughfares or heard us on both AM and FM radio stations. Our main message is that De La Salle College is a Lasallian community with a place and pathway for all and continues its 109-year tradition of turning out great young men of quality, respect and empathy. 

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this latest edition of Roll Call. Take care and we hope to see you in person at a College function soon – when we’re allowed! 

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Author:Peter Houlihan
About: Principal, De La Salle College, Malvern
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