Senior School Newsletter

  7 December 2017, Volume 68 No. 37

Regular Notices

Other Notices

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents

Gardiner’s Creek was watched with an intensity and rising concern from my office last Friday, and I confess to a very early school visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. My thanks to our many staff who prepared for a flood that thankfully did not eventuate.

I spent three days earlier in the week in the Yarra Valley. I have not commenced my holidays early! I was in the company of senior staff, Mr Doherty, Ms Canny, Mr McGirr, Mrs Power, Mr Coyne, and eleven past Student Leaders of the College as we continued our selection process and training of some of our Year 12, who will have leadership roles next year. I am so very grateful to my colleagues for their time and expert presentations and I marvelled, once again, at the easy but true transfer of College culture between our former leaders and current boys. Daniel Barrett, College Captain of 2009, was the ‘old man of the tribe’.

On Wednesday evening, in the Galleria, we farewelled three long-serving colleagues. A large crowd of families, colleagues, past and present, honoured Laurice Brady 1997 – 2017, Kate McMahon 2007 – 2017, and Greg Critchley 2007 – 2017. SKC has benefitted from the expertise and generosity of these fine teachers.

Reports and Annuals are in their final stages of completion and will provide each home with a record of 2017. I extend the blessings of Christmas to all our community. 2018 will be a great year to be part of St Kevin’s.

Kind regards, 

Stephen F Russell

Create academic and co-curricular programs which are engaging and meet the specific needs of boys’ education.
(from the Mission Statement)

Faith and Mission

What God has wrought

When the original telegraph was sent by Samuel F B Morse on May 25 1844, he allowed a young relative to choose the content for first message. This was a momentous occasion in history, the first time that words had moved through space without a physical being such as a human or a bird to carry them. It was the beginning of something that we take so much for granted now that it is easy to overlook how significant it was; it was as amazing in its own way as human flight. Words could suddenly move faster than the person who uttered them. The young woman seemed aware of this. She chose a text from the book of Numbers ‘what God has wrought.’ For her, such an act of creation was nothing short of godly.

It was a bit different when, on March 10 1976, Alexander Graham Bell became the first person to speak on the telephone. The content of the world’s first phone call was rather more mundane than the first telegraph. Bell said famously "Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you." This was hardly the Gettysburg address; more profound sentiments have been spoken through the speaker in the drive through of Red Rooster. But in their own way, such functional words are also worth pondering. Bell had the presence of mind not to tell Watson that he needed to speak to him. He was doing that already, even if others found this hard to believe. More important, the first phone call of the countless millions that were to be made in the 141 years since then acknowledged something that has been in the background of every one of those subsequent calls, even if there have actually been billions of them. Speaking on the phone is not the same as being with somebody in person. Our words are communicated by much more than our voice.

A little over a century later, in 1971, the first email was sent. The author, if you can call him that, was a researcher known as Ray Tomlinson. He set up two computers in close proximity and sent the world’s first message to somebody who could probably have guessed what he wanted to say anyway. That person was himself. As it happened, the message was blank. You might even say it was spam. It was a fitting moment, the harbinger of all the needless and vacuous messages that have devoured the world since then and chewed through hours and hours of time. Email is not to be disparaged. But it is good to have days without it.

These three dates came to mind last weekend as we celebrated the twenty fifth anniversary of the world’s first text message. It was sent by a 22 year old engineer on Dec 2 1992. Take a moment to think about what might have been in the message.

I’ll give you two clues.

First clue. Last Friday, as Year 11 gathered for a liturgy to mark the end of the year, we heard from Mr Nick Clark who will be leaving St Kevin’s where he has been Dean of Student Wellbeing. During his time with us, each of Mr Clark’s three children have been born. He said:

Before kids I thought I was an expert on parenting and would tell parents, you ought to do this and you ought not to do that etc etc., but now I know that knowing what the best thing to do for the long-term benefit of your child is actually so complex and so difficult! My experience now is that parents are trying to do what they think is right for their children but so often get it wrong, including me. And so will you if you have children.

He also spoke about other relationships.

When I think about what has really stood out for me here it is, of course, relationships. The relationships I have developed with other staff and with students. Sometimes we think that students and teachers don’t really have a relationship; that it’s just business, but that’s not so. Obviously students and teachers are not mates but we affect each other’s lives – if there was no relationship, there would be no effect… As for the counselling – people often ask me ‘isn’t it draining to listen to other people’s problems all day?’ And sometimes, yes, it can be. But most of the time it’s actually a privilege and an inspiration. The hardship that so many people endure is astounding! Growing up I thought it was just my family that was messed up, but in my job I get to see that every family is complex and messy and people get hurt. One of my favourite quotes is ‘Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle that you know nothing about'.

Second clue. On Sunday, a number of senior staff along with a wonderful group of student leaders from the recent past, gathered for our annual leadership camp at Toolangi. There were many highlights in the three days, but it was especially moving when Ms Janet Canny shared five points that encapsulated her hopes and aspirations for her new job as Deputy Head of St Kevin’s, starting in 2018. Ms Canny expressed a vision we can all take to heart. Here is my poor summary.

  1. She hopes her faith will be evident in all she does. Her faith is inseparable from every aspect of her life.
  2. She hopes to be the best person she can be, especially in terms of reliability and trustworthiness.
  3. She hopes to be fair and just to everyone with whom she has contact in any capacity. For Ms Canny, this comes back to her faith.
  4. She hopes to always act for the good of the community in her words and deeds, realising that her job is not about her.
  5. Finally, she hopes to keep the image in her heart of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples on the night before he died. This is a powerful image of humanity, humility and service. 
By now you have surely guessed the world’s first text message. 

It contained two words. 

They were ‘Merry Christmas.

Of course, those two words can be as bland and colourless as a greeting on a cheap card.

Of course, they can be as manipulative as the December consumer frenzy.

Of course, they can be as sad as the loneliness of those who grieve while others wear funny hats.


They can also point to the light that has come into our world to overcome the darkness. They can point to the creativity of a God who comes among us as one of the poor of the earth. They can point to a hope that is bigger than any ego.

Jesus is the word of God. Perhaps that word might reach us by telegram, phone, email or text. But it is more likely to turn up in the company of real people.

Merry Christmas

Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith

Calendar Dates

 Friday 8 Years 8 - 10 2018 Orientation Day    
  Year 10 OAP Student Leaders’ Camp
  Classes conclude fort Year 7 - 9     
Saturday 9 Year 10 OAP Student Leaders’ Camp    
Sunday 10 Years 7 and 8 Presentation Ceremony 3.00pm Melbourne Town Hall
  Year 10 and 11 Presentation Ceremony
7.00pm Melbourne Town Hall
Monday 11 Year 9 Presentation Ceremony 7.45pm Smith Hall
Tuesday 12 Year 12 Formal 7.00pm Melbourne Park
Wednesday 13 Staff conclude    
  Staff Function
Friday 15 VCE Results available
Saturday 16 STAR Camp    
Sunday 17 STAR Camp    

Please see the College Calendar for full details and future dates.  

Don't forget to make use of the Calendar search facility. For example, search on Father-Son to find information regarding the Father-Son Camps. The Calendar can be accessed from the top of any page on the College website.

Newsletter contributions should be emailed to by 5pm on Monday. 



Our Foundation: the Gift of a St Kevin’s Education

One of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to maintaining a diversity of boys at the College is through the work of the St Kevin’s College Foundation.

The Foundation aims to raise funds for the College Bursary Program so that young men from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are provided the opportunity to attend St Kevin’s College and that families needing financial support may be assisted. 

Of equal importance is the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to foster a collaborative and supportive community network. Our functions and events seek not only to raise funds, but also provide past and present students, families and friends of the school the chance to re-connect.

With the Centenary year almost upon us, the Foundation is busy planning a series of special events and all members of the St Kevin’s College community are welcome to attend. Please mark the following dates in your diaries and keep an eye out for further information regarding these events as the year gets underway:

  • Past Parents Drinks - Wednesday 21 February 2018
  • The Annual Foundation Dinner - Tuesday 27 March 2018
Mr Kevin Culliver OAM
Secretary, St Kevin's College Foundation

Mothers' Association

The SKC Mothers’ Association wishes you and your family a blessed festive season and a relaxed summer period. We look forward to an exciting and special year of celebration in 2018.

2018 Centenary - SKC Mothers' Association Luncheon

The St Kevin’s Mothers’ Association, in conjunction with the Glendalough Mothers’ Association, would like to announce their first function for the 2018 Centenary year.  Although the event venue is larger than years’ past, to ensure that you do not miss out, we recommended to book asap, as this luncheon is always very popular.  When booking please select the year level you would most like to be seated with or if you are on a pre-organised table, please select your table captain when booking. Tickets must be purchased to obtain reservation on pre-organised table captain tables.  Please bring along your name tag, as there will be many new faces joining the St. Kevin’s Community for the first time, as well as many of us catching up after the summer holidays!

Date:  Thursday, 15 February 2018

Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre
191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Time: 12.00pm noon
Cost:  $110 per person (2 course meal, petit fours and drinks including coffee/tea)
RSVP: 3.00pm Monday, 5 February - unless sold out prior
Via Trybooking:
For all enquiries please email the Mothers' Lunch Committee at

Year Level Function Dates - Term 1, 2018

  • Year 12 Parent Function – Saturday 17 February
  • Year 8 Parent Function – Friday 23 February
  • Year 7 Parent Function – Saturday 24 February
  • Year 9 Parent Function – Saturday 3 March
  • Year 10 Parent Function – Friday 16 March
  • Year 11 Parent Function – Saturday 17 March

Mothers' Association Second Hand Uniform Shop

The Second Hand Uniform Shop is located at our Waterford Campus in Richmond, enter via Darlington Parade. We have most items of clothing available to purchase at 50% off the retail price. Currently we have stock of Shorts, Short Sleeve Shirts, Jumpers, House Polo Tops & various Sports Tops.  

Our forthcoming open day and hours: Tuesday 30 January - 11am - 2pm. For more information please see the Swap Shop page.  If you have any queries please feel free to email Sylvia Shaw at or text on 0411 135 432.

Mothers' Association Merchandise

To order St Kevin’s Mother’s Association merchandise online please click the link: orders will then be delivered to your nominated campus (Heyington, Waterford or Glendalough campus) and can be collected by your sons or yourself.   Please note there are no more delivery dates for Merchandise for the remainder of this year. Any orders placed now will be delivered on Friday 2 March 2018. 

For any further details please contact Carole Putna or Maria Dasopatis via email

St Kevin's College Towel Orders

A special direct link has been set up for St Kevin's Towel Orders. Please click the link: to order.

Towels are $50.00 each. 

Further enquiries please contact Skye McEwen - SKC Merchandising 0418 314 899.
Mrs Rachael McGarry
President SKMA

Fathers' Association

The SKCFA Committee wishes everybody in the St Kevin’s community a safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year.   2018 will be a fantastic year of Centenary Celebrations for the College and families. We are all looking forward to catching up with Father’s/Male mentors at the various SKCFA events planned for 2018.  Some initial dates for your 2018 diary are as follows:

       Feb 24 - 25       Years 2 - 4 Father & Son Camp 
May 8 - 10  Years 5 - 6 Father & Son Cooking Classes
Jun 5  Father’s Dinner (guest speaker/panel discussions) 
Jul 21 - 22  Years 5 - 6 Father & Son Camp 
Oct 9  Father’s Dinner (guest speaker/panel discussions)     
Oct 27 - 28  Years 7 - 8 Father & Son Camp 
Nov 12  SKCFA Annual General Meeting & Dinner 
Nov 29  Year 11 “Head Start” Father & Son Dinner

There are also the monthly SKCFA meetings, which all fathers are welcome to join. Come along and discuss ideas you may have regarding events for fathers and sons, ensuring the SKCFA continues to be a key part of the St Kevin’s College community.

There will also be various events during 2018 where the SKCFA will need help from Fathers. These dates will be communicated in the first week on Term 1, 2018. Events include assisting at the Annual Art Show, information evenings and of course the Glendalough Family Fun Day.

SKC Fathers’ Association – Facebook Group

This is a closed group only available to SKC parents and guardians. To view the invite you must be a member of the SKC Fathers’ Association Facebook Group.
Mr Simon Janes
President, St Kevin's College Fathers' Association

St Kevin's Lost Property

Heyington Reception has a several pairs of prescription glasses, two iPads and two white iPhones. Students from all campuses use the Heyington facilities. Any named items are returned to students, however if your son is missing any of these unnamed items please call Heyington Reception on 9822 0911.

Friends of Art

Friends of Art is an enthusiastic and friendly group of parents who co-ordinate the St Kevin’s Art Show in May each year. We are seeking two new committee members to fill the roles of Treasurer and Parent Communications in 2018. If you are interested in either of these positions, please contact convenor, Marita Smith at or on 9329 1860 or 0425 809 328.


There are no results for last week due to weather on the weekend
 Mr Luke Travers
Dean of Sport


Composer News

Congratulations to Thomas Fernando (Year 9), who has been award third prize in the Year 7 - 12 Instrumental category of the 2017 National Songwriting Competition. This competition is run by the Australian Children’s Music Foundation. All of the results and winning compositions for each category can be viewed and heard on their website

Further student composers will be featured at the Year 7 - 8 and Year 10 - 11 Presentation Ceremonies in the Melbourne Town Hall, with the orchestra performing compositions by Year 11 students Timothy O’Malley and Sean Quinn during the ceremonies. 

Instrumental Lesson Enrolment

Families are reminded that enrolment in music lessons is continuous from year to year and that no re-enrolment is required. Given that a term’s notice in normally required, please contact the Music Office immediately if you wish your son to cease lessons at the end of this year.

Presentation Ceremonies

The Senior Choir, Senior Vocal Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra are all performing at the Presentation Ceremonies on Sunday 10 December.  The Symphony Orchestra rehearsal is in the McMahon Studio on Saturday 9 December from 2.30 - 3.45pm, with truck packing to follow.  Details of the arrangements on Sunday 10 December can be found in the letter here.

Remaining Term IV Music Dates

Thursday 7 December Year 6 Mass 6.00pm St Ignatius
Saturday 9 December Symphony Orchestra Presentation Ceremony rehearsal 2.30pm - 3.45pm MMC
Sunday 10 December Year 7 - 8 and Year 10 - 11 Presentation Ceremonies MTH
Monday 11 December Year 9 Presentation Evening 7.45pm SH

Music Office - C305

Mrs Andrea McDonald (Music Administrator) can be contacted at the Music Office by phone on 9804 3045 and by email at Boys with enquiries are encouraged to visit the Music Office before school, at Recess, at Lunchtime or after school.
Mr Simon Harris
Head of Music

Cathedral Choir


Carols & Social Function        Friday 15 December
2017 Finish  After 11.00am Mass Monday 25 December

Return          Sunday 28 January
Choir Camp                Sunday 11 - Tuesday 13 March
Wedding                     2.00pm, Saturday 17 March
Easter Triduum         Thursday 29 March-Sunday 1 April
No Choir  Sundays 8 April
Recording Session 1  Wednesday 20 June
No Choir  Sunday 1 July
No Choir  Sunday 8 July
Recording Session 2  Thursday 19 July
Recording Session 3  Thursday 2 August
Recording Session 4  Wednesday 22 August
No Choir  Sunday 30 September

Dr Daryl Barclay
Director, Cathedral Choir
Head of Choral Music