Principal's Blog - 22 March 2018

18 Mar 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

In 1998 the Institute of the Marist brothers published a document titled In the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat -  A Vision for Marist Education Today. It's a broad philosophical document, the purpose of which is to provide guidance to all those who work within a Marist setting. In the section on Marist Schools the first paragraph provides clear mandate as to the mission of all Marist educators.

A Marist school is a centre of learning, of life, and of evangelising. As a school, it leads students “to learn to know, to be competent, to live together, and most especially, to grow as persons”. As a Catholic school, it is a community setting in which faith, hope and love are lived and communicated, and in which students are progressively initiated into their lifelong challenge of harmonising faith, culture and life. As a Catholic school in the Marist tradition, it adopts Marcellin’s approach to educating children and youth, in the way of Mary.

This document suggests therefore that opportunities for rich learning are everywhere. It reminds us that learning is an activity not only confined to the classroom, it is not purely academic, nor does it necessarily have to come from the lips of the teacher, the pages of a book or even the click of a mouse. Life at Marcellin is full of rich learning opportunities which often come from the most unexpected of sources and situations.

Last Friday evening I attended the AGSV swimming championships held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic centre. It is on this occasion I learnt about the power of community. Here I witnessed older students mixing with and supporting younger students. I observed parents, in large numbers chatting with each other and collectively cheering on each boy whether first or last with the same passion and gusto. I saw boys who were learning that a few words of encouragement to a team mate were as powerful and beneficial as the best coaching tips. I watched as teachers and coaches joked and laughed with the boys and offered them words of consolation when the race had not played out as the boy had envisioned it would. I believe that all those present learnt about the power of family spirit and that each has a place in bringing this important tenant of the Marist charism alive.

On Saturday I attended the First Basketball final held in St Marcellin’s Hall. Over 200 Marcellin students, along with many families and friends gave up their precious Saturday morning to cheer on our team. I was incredibly impressed with the attitude and approach of our boys as they poured their energy into showing support for our players, rather than denigrating the opposition. They realised that it is better to barrack with a positive rather than negative mindset. I was particularly grateful to our senior students who set this positive tone and in doing so, taught the younger students the power of this approach.

At the end of the game I witnessed a group of young men who learnt about the power of humility. Following their loss to Ivanhoe Grammar our boys stood tall showing respect and deference to the opposition. Our captain, Joel Cappatolo, spoke with great composure and generosity toward his opponents. This approach taught all those gathered about the power of demonstrating dignity and graciousness in defeat. I would like to congratulate Ivanhoe Grammar on their achievement and the sportsmanlike way they approached the game. I would equally like to congratulate our First Basketball Team for the maturity and humility they displayed in defeat. A lesson to us all.

On Saturday afternoon I ventured out to Melbourne Airport to farewell fifteen Year 9 students and two staff as they embarked on 6 weeks of learning on the Victorian Young Leaders to China program. Here I learnt about the bond of family as boys said goodbye to their families for what will probably be the longest time they would have ever been away from home in their short lives. I watched too as boys comforted their parents and parents supported each other in this moment of emotion. I witnessed the power of support that people show each other in moments of shared experience. I know too that our students will learn much on their journey about culture, language, mutual support and the importance of looking out for one another.

As a School I am confident that Marcellin College… leads students “to learn to know, to be competent, to live together, and most especially, to grow as persons”. I look forward watching our student grow in the way of Mary throughout the years ahead.

I would like to congratulate Kristian Ferronato from Year 7 AUG_03 who last week was awarded the School Sport Victoria AFL award at a luncheon held at the MCG. In 2017 Kristian captained both the SSV Football and Basketball team to gold medals in 2017. Well done Kristian.

Mark Murphy