Principals Blog 21 June 2018
Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,
I am always encouraged and inspired by the young men of Marcellin. It is privilege to watch as they grow from boys to fine young men. I would like to think that our College has some influence on the type of young men they become post school as well as the pathways they take and the decisions they make in life. It is important too, I believe for our current students to know what their predecessors have moved onto and the achievements they have made since they left Marcellin.
To this end each year we invite some past students to speak with our Year 12 students as part of the College’s seminar program. The theme of this seminar day is taken from our College motto Virtute Ad Altissma – With Virtue and Courage to Strive for the highest. Over the last few years we have been blessed to have some outstanding past students generously share their stories to the next graduates of our College. Last week three of these old Collegians came and presented their own stories of what it means to Strive for the Highest. Below I have provided a brief Bio on each of our guest speakers
Jack Stammers Class of 2011
After graduating, he took a gap year and lived in West Heidelberg as part of the Remar Team. There he worked with individuals and families who were housebound: the sick, elderly and those with addiction and mental illness. The following year offered another year of experience working in schools across Australia for the Marist Brothers youth ministry program. In 2014, whilst studying, Jack was selected to represent the Youth of Oceania for the Marist International Mission Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya. The assembly inspired Jack to coordinate the West Heidelberg Bread Run with local members, a weekly ministry which delivers bread and food to those having it tough.
In 2015, alongside two Old Collegians, received the St Marcellin Champagnat Award offered by Marcellin College. This involved assisting the running of the Three2Six program in Johannesburg, South Africa. The encounter inspired a new initiative back on home soil in Santa Teresa, a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, where he and other Marists across the country run a Holiday Program in January. Now in its fourth year, it is the first project supported by the Marist Association.
Jack has also travelled to the Philippians to help support the Marist Bagong Barrio Education Fund. A project started by Br Doug Walsh to help support and educate kids living in one of the poorest villages in metropolitan Manila.
Ben Bugeja Class of 2008
Graphic / Communication Designer and self taught photographer with a passion for people and culture. Working in the design industry for 9 years, Benjamin has freelanced his way around the world and takes great pride in understanding and appreciating those that he comes across. Always seeking new skills and knowledge, he has a passion for capturing particular moments through his camera lens, using those photographs to remind him of moments that he hopes not to forget. Travel, art, design, people, culture and community all came together when Benjamin moved to South Africa to work with primary school children in underprivileged suburbs, shaping his path and finding light in dark situations. After 2 years Benjamin moved back to Australia and continues to work in the Design and Photography sector, taking on pro bono work when the right causes come his way.
Jack Totino Class of 2016
After completing year 12 in 2016, Jack made a promise to a close mate who lost his father to MND (motor neurone disease). The promise was to honour his dad and cycle around Australia, solo and unsupported in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the foundation FightMND.
During his 8 month journey around our vast land he encountered many difficulties and hardships. He had to endure extremes of weather, hazardous road conditions physical illness. He had to also learn how to deal with loneliness, isolation and self-doubt.
Along the way he met many generous and compassionate Australians who supported him in many ways and taught him much about the great Australian spirit. He also spent time with MND sufferers like Neil Danaher who inspired him and gave him encouragement to continue his journey. He was also buoyed by the love of his family who were a constant source of love and support.
Jack completed his journey in October 2017 after having peddled his way around coastal Australia. He also raised considerable awareness and funds for MND thus meeting the goals he set for himself. More than this he learnt much about himself and his ability to push through adversity and hardship.
Jack says that the journey taught him a lot about himself, others and most importantly appreciating the simple things in life. Jack worked closely with the foundation FightMND as well as Neale Daniher to achieve his goal.
After returning home Jack has slowly adjusted back to a normal lifestyle, although it has taken a lot longer than he anticipated. He says overall he was extremely happy with the outcome of the campaign as it gave a lot of MND sufferers hope as well as a journey to follow whilst they too battled away with their minds and bodies...
The eyes of the entire Year 2 group were firmly fixed on these amazing young men as they told their stories, many say afterwards how inspired they were by the selflessness, compassion and dedication these men demonstrated though their actions.
It is easy to misinterpret the meaning of our College Motto. Many may think it is about gaining the best VCE/VCAL result. Some would suggest it is about securing a prestigious position in life or of gaining the most material possessions. When the Great Marist Br Placidus Redden chose our College Motto prior to the opening of Marcellin College in 1950 I believe he had another idea in mind. The first word of the Motto Virtute is latin for virtue – The quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness. These are qualities we most wish the boys of Marcellin to strive for. Qualities which demand courage, determination and selflessness. Qualities most certainly displayed by these fine young men of Marcellin.