Principal's Blog - 2 November 2017

29 Oct 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin College,

In recent times I have written in this space regarding my concerns over the impact of the proposed NorthEast Link Project on Marcellin College. Specifically, I have great concern regarding the potential impact of North East Link Option A on our school. The implementation of Option A could lead to the development of a 10-metre high viaduct carrying 6 lanes of traffic along the Bulleen road route. This would have a major impact on the College with regards to safety, access during and after construction, noise, aesthetic appeal and most significantly the compulsory acquisition of land. Whilst the College has done a great deal to ensure the views of Marcellin are heard we also recognise that collectively as community we can achieve far more.

Those of you who live in the municipality of Manningham, may have received a survey document from the council asking for your views on the various options and their potential impacts on the local area. I ask that when you respond to this survey that you may also take into consideration the potential impacts on our College. I also suggest that you contact your local member to express your concerns on this proposal. Thank you for your continued support of our great school.

Valedictory Mass and Dinner
Last Friday night our community came together to celebrate the efforts and achievements of the graduating class of 2017 at our annual Valedictory Mass and Dinner. It was wonderful to see our boys, their parents and the Marcellin staff come together to give thanks for all these young men have given and received during their time at Marcellin.

I am very grateful to all those who contributed to the success of this evening:

  • Mons. Tony Ireland, from St Gregory’s Doncaster for his thoughtful and prayerful celebration of our Eucharist supported by our AP (Mission), Carolyn Young who planned the entire mass.
  • Matthew Thomas and the music staff and students involved in the Choir for bringing a great sense of prayer and occasion to our celebration of the Eucharist.
  • Nick Moloney AP (Operations) for his work in providing transport and logistical arrangements.
  • All of the House Coordinators who presented our Valedictorians and for nurturing the boys over the past 6 years.
  • Clive Haese for his strong and supportive leadership of Yr 12s in his third year in the role.
  • Adriano Di Prato for his overall coordination of the event, including awards and booklets and mostly for his wonderful attention to detail.
  • I would particularly like thank Shannon Anderson, Executive Assistance for taking charge of the overall event and doing literally the 101 tasks which need to be completed to ensure the evening was the wonderful success that it always is.

Below you will find a copy of the address I delivered at this significant occasion in the life of our College.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is great to be here with you as together we celebrate the efforts and achievements of the Class of 2017 and give thanks to God and all here present for the support, opportunities and blessings these young men have received during their six years as members of the Marcellin College family.

It was wonderful to be at Last week’s VCE Visual Arts and Technology Exhibition in our beautiful new atrium space. I was inspired by our student’s talent, creativity and skill which was brought to life with the brush or the pencil, or the chisel, or the lens. Throughout your time at Marcellin many of you have found your sense of purpose and meaning through this aspect of the curriculum offering at Marcellin. Others of you have found that same passion through the performing Arts, or sport or practical pathways, or Science or literature. Many of you might go as far as to say that you have loved a particular activity or academic endeavor. Conversely, you might suggest there are other aspects of school life that you have been less than keen on. But I suppose that’s life isn’t it.

At the end of the opening night of the Arts Exhibition I was leaving to go home when I bumped into one of the year 12 students who was presenting his work on the evening. I congratulated him on his excellent work. The young man’s parents said that they were proud of what their son had achieved through his Art particularly considering that school had not always been easy for their boy. I turned to the young man and said I get it, I know that you love your school with all you heart but you don’t always like it. The young man’s face lit up in recognition like he had been hit with one of those moments of epiphany. Yes, he said, that’s exactly what it’s like.

Perhaps you could apply this same lens to all aspects of life. School, work, home, relationships, family. By way of example, I love my job as Principal at Marcellin. I feel privileged to be able to walk alongside the young men of our school. I am honored to be able to support our staff to provide a high quality educational environment for our boys. A staff who you will all agree are dedicated to their profession and committed to their students. I am grateful too for the support of our wonderful parents who everyday place incredible trust in our school to educate their sons to become what Saint Marcellin would describe as good Christians and good citizens.

Having said all that there are times, as few as they may be that I don’t like certain tasks I have to perform or even decisions I must make. But that doesn’t mean that I love my job any less.

They say that if you love your job you will never work a day in your life. Boys I encourage you to find the thing you love, the thing your passionate about and pursue it relentlessly. As I have said numerous times at careers nights, we should pursue a career in what we like and what we are good at rather than end up in a job that we detest and for which we have no aptitude.  

You might remember the day we unveiled the statue to Fr John Carnie overlooking the Bray. You may recall too that the sculptor Pauline Clayton came to the ceremony, she was in a wheel chair as she was dying of cancer. Due to her illness, (the cancer had entered her brain) she had not spoken a coherent word for several days prior. However, on this day such was her love for her art she took the microphone and spoke clearly and passionately to you imploring you to follow your dreams. Her last words to you were… You should all become artists, you will be poor but you will be happy. Pauline handed back the microphone. She never spoke again and died 10 days later.

Can I suggest this evening as you venture out into the world confident in the knowledge of who you are, formed by the many people and experiences you have had at Marcellin as well as in far greater measure by the love and support of your families that you reflect on three important questions which our good friend Mons. Tony Ireland suggested to me are the keys to the continued development of your identity, your sense of purpose and that search for the things that you love in the years ahead.

1. What gives meaning to your life?
2. What is the purpose in your life?
3. What is the connectedness in your life?

Finding the meaning of your life enables you to discover your own unique pathway. It is the thing that will continue to motivate you to achieve all that you hope for. Discovering the meaning of your life gives you the solid platform from which to cope equally with life’s joys and its struggles So do all you can to find the meaning of your life.

The second element is to discover and follow the purpose of your life. What sets you on fire? What energizes you? What are you passionate about? What motivates you?

And the third element is connectedness. You need to continue to develop connections with people and maintain the important connections you already have with family, friends, with Marcellin and hopefully too with God.

Tonight, I would also like to pay tribute to the parents of the class of 2017. It’s not easy being the parent of a year 12 boy. The mood swings, the self-doubt, the highs and the lows – these are all part of the daily lot of the year 12 parent. So well done to you all for surviving the year, for continuing to love and support your sons – even when they aren’t always so lovable and thank you for the faith and trust you placed in the College to educate these fine young men.

Each Year since the death of Fr. John I read a blessing that he wrote for the graduating class of Marcellin. It sums up all that we hope for each one of you, so I would like to conclude with it this evening. This is from Fr John…

Congratulations class of 2017. Thank you for your friendship and your encouragement. I pray on this night that your future will be all that tonight you are praying it will be. We join you in your prayer, your hopes and your dreams and we ask Saint Marcellin to pray for these young men, their teachers and their families.

Go well young men of Marcellin and remember Virtute ad Altissima.

Mark Murphy