Principal's Blog - 24 October 2019

21 Oct 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin Family,

I have often said in this space that I love what I do. It is the greatest privilege to lead a school community, especially a place like Marcellin, imbued with our Catholic faith and the spirit of Saint Marcellin Champagnat. 11 years ago it was this spirit which drew me, which called me to Marcellin College. I believe my entire career as an educator has been formed and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is this spirit which called me here. It is now that same spirit which is calling me elsewhere. As you are now aware, next year I will take up the role of Principal at Whitefriars College, a Catholic school for boys in the Carmelite tradition. 

I have been blessed with an opportunity to lead another great school community in 2020, equally instilled with our Catholic faith but with what I would call a slightly different flavour. Until that time, I am firmly committed to continuing to support and develop the incredible community that is Marcellin College. I am very excited and encouraged by the skilled and dedicated work being carried out by our staff under the skilled leadership of Adriano Di Prato and our Learning and Teaching team as we prepare for the beginnings of our new learning program, Polaris, in 2020. This work is very well in hand and I am confident that our Year 9 and 10 students will experience a learning environment rich in opportunities for their growth as learners and as young men.

Mostly I am supremely confident in the staff of our College who everyday walk the extra mile in support of our young men in more ways than I could count. I am also  unequivocally confident in Marist Schools Australia, led by our National Director, Dr. Frank Malloy and our Regional Director, Julie Ryan as they continue to support our College in the next phase of it’s growth and development.

Vale Jim Rottura
On behalf of the entire Marcellin College family I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Nicky and Giordan Rottura following the death of their husband and father, Jim, who fought a long and courageous battle against cancer. We reach out in prayer solidarity with the Rottura family at this time of sadness and loss.

Eternal rest grant unto Jim O lord
and let perpetual light shine  upon him.
May he rest in peace

Last Friday night the graduating class of 2019 entered St. Patrick’s Cathedral almost 6 years after having been inducted in that same place as Year 7 boys of Marcellin. We were all blessed to participate in such a prayerful and uplifting celebration of the Eucharist led by Monsignor Tony Ireland (Parish Priest of St. Gregory’s Doncaster) and thoughtfully developed and organised by Carolyn Young (AP Mission), the ministry team as well as Fiona Dyball (Music Leader Voice), other music staff and our magnificent Champagnat Choir. We then went onto an evening of celebration  and recognition at our Valedictory dinner held at the Melbourne Convention Centre. This component was organised and overseen by Adriano Di Prato (Deputy Principal), and Melissa Mackellin (AP Students 10-12), ably and skilfully supported by Ben Bugeja (Director of Community Engagement and Marketing) and Sallie Carmen (Executive Assistant). I would also like to thank the members of the MCCA who provided the beautiful centre pieces for the tables and completed all the set up and pack down.

Below you will find my Address to the graduating class of 2019:

The decision your parents made six years ago to send you to Marcellin was a very important one. Many of them would have agonised over it, researching, reflecting and perhaps even praying about the school which would best support you to grow into the fine young man they hoped you would be. In their search, many of them may have turned to school websites and mission statements to gain a greater understanding about the offering and the identity of College. The Marcellin Vision Statement provides an insight into who we are and what we offer. In many ways it is the mantra that we test our success against. There are three parts to our Vision Statement which contain the key aspects of this vision I wish to speak to this evening.

The first part speaks about partnership. Every day in this school I feel blessed to witness the wonderful partnerships which exist at Marcellin. Partnerships between staff and parents. We haven’t always agreed, but mostly there is a strong understanding that we are both on the same side, with the same motivation – to do our best in support of these young men. Partnerships between staff who collaborate, support and inspire each other and who work so hard, above and beyond that which would reasonably be expected of them based purely on their love for these young men. Partnerships too between staff and students which clearly demonstrate understanding and compassion toward each other. A partnership which shows the capacity of the teacher to enthuse, to challenge, to inspire as well as showing how best to connect boys to learning.

The second part speaks about Marcellin as a Catholic Marist school. A place where inspired by Jesus, Mary and St. Marcellin, we reach out to others especially those in greatest need. I look at you boys and I see young men who have demonstrated humility, modesty and simplicity in the way they have worked quietly and selflessly for the benefit of others. Whether it be in Cambodia, or Bourke, or the Exodus Community or Youth Justice or even helping a younger student with his homework. You know that it is more than some simple humanistic motivation to do good, it’s about a higher calling to give without the desire of anything in return. It is my hope and prayer that as you go out into the world you will carry this desire with you to listen to the voice of the spirit that is in each of you to do good quietly.

The opening sentence of the final paragraph of this Vision Statement says it all…'We empower young people to embrace all opportunities'. Among the faces before me this evening I see the chess enthusiasts, the soccer players, the debaters, the footballers and volleyballers, the musicians and actors and artists, Remar boys, cricketers, cross country runners, basketballers, squash players, swimmers, golfers, hockey players, athletes, tennis and rugby players (I hope I haven’t missed anyone) who have utilised their gifts and talents in actively participating in the cocurricular life of this College, who have given back to this school in a myriad of ways and who leave an example and a legacy for those who follow. More than this, I see a group of learners in front of me who have struggled with and triumphed over the life long pursuit to learn, to grow and to become the best versions of themselves that they can be. 

This vision is what we offered and what we aspired to for the young men of Marcellin. Only you can judge if we achieved this aim for the young men with us this evening. What I can say is that I am proud of each and every one of you and on behalf of Marcellin College, I thank you for all you have given, all you have been and all you leave for those who will follow.

Tonight, I would also like to pay tribute to the parents of the class of 2019. It’s not easy being the parent of a Year 12 boy. The mood swings, the self-doubt, the highs and the lows (not sure if I am talking about the boys or parents here) – 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. Thank you for the faith and trust you placed in Marcellin College to educate these fine young men.

Each year since the death of our great friend Father John Carnie, I have 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 2019. 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