Senior School Newsletter

  1 December 2016, Volume 67 No. 37

Regular Notices

Other Notices

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents

This is it! The final time in 2016 I will write to the families of St Kevin’s in the College Newsletter. Much continues to absorb our energy and interest as we accurately record the student and community achievements of 2016, and prepare for the 2017 academic year. The arrival of Advent, heralding the beginning of a new Church year, also puts us in the frame of mind to focus on new beginnings.

I must record my thanks to my colleagues for the great efforts that went into the Year 12 2017 Headstart Program. Our senior boys are now well-armed with strategic and suitable study for the Christmas vacation. I have just returned from the 2017 Student Leadership Camp in the Yarra Ranges, where I enjoyed the company of 48 of our senior boys, 12 past leaders of the College and 5 colleagues. It was busy, inspiring, tiring, and I came away confident that the College will be led well by our Year 12 of 2017. Fifty of our Year 10 boys and many staff are now halfway through the testing hike that is the culmination of the OAP Leaders training. In the Term IV edition of Omnia, I go into more detail regarding how we conduct leadership training at SKC and our plan for the future in the area of developing student leadership skills.

The recent Combined Mothers’ Liturgy and Dinner was a memorable night, as was Tuesday evening’s Glendalough Carols. Our boys sang so well and enthusiastically.

Last Saturday, Kate and I attended Mass and dinner here in Melbourne for EREA Heads from across the country. At the Mass before our social celebration, five exceptional educators from Edmund Rice schools were recognised for their efforts above and beyond in each of the Edmund Rice Touchstones: Justice and Solidarity; Gospel Spirituality; Inclusive Community; Liberating Education. The fifth of these EREA Charter Leadership Awards, the 2016 Executive Director’s Special Award, recognised a person who, through their life and commitment to the priorities of the Gospel, embodies the Spirit of the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice tradition in its entirety. That person was Chris Straford of St Kevin’s. It was wonderful recognition of a man whose energy and skills are so well-employed, leading our boys to learn in a liberating way, to be aware of the power of the Gospel, to be conscious of the other and, therefore, to behave inclusively, always promoting justice and solidarity.

I republish all the details of our concluding formalities below, and hope to see many of you at one or the other. I extend the blessings of Christmas to all and will have all our community in my prayers across the break.

3.00pm Sunday 4 December
Years 7 & 8
Presentation Ceremony @ Melbourne Town Hall
7.00pm Sunday 4 December
Years 10 & 11
Presentation Ceremony @ Melbourne Town Hall
7.45pm Monday 5 December
Year 9
Presentation Ceremony @ Smith Hall 

All boys must be in formal College uniform. Parents are asked to reflect their sons’ dress code.

Stephen F Russell
St Kevin's College will ensure that learning be recognised as a means of empowerment and liberation in our world within a Gospel context.
(from the Mission Statement)

Faith and Mission

I just put on my hat

Last Saturday night, one of our staff, Mr Chris Straford was presented with the EREA Executive Director’s Special Award for 2016 as a ‘person who, through their life and commitment to the priorities of the Gospel, embodies the spirit of the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice tradition in its entirety’. The Executive Director, Dr Wayne Tinsey, spoke about Mr Straford and his work. This is what he said.

This Award is made to a person whose life and ministry in education embody the essence of our Gospel and the highest aspirations of the Charter for Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition. It is my great honour to present this special award to Chris Straford from St Kevin’s College.

Chris, your great friend Michael McGirr has told me a story. I hope you don’t mind if I share it.

Michael said that he arrived at Mass one Sunday recently to find that you were leading the children’s liturgy as you often do. There were a dozen or more pre-school kids involved and the Gospel of the day was the story of Zaccaheus. The kids were excited and totally captured in your lesson. You were getting them to climb up on each other’s shoulders in a piggy back style to give the idea of Zacchaeus climbing up the sycamore tree to see Jesus.

There are a couple of things to say about this. The first is that it is a reminder that you are a most creative teacher and one of those masterful and tireless exponents of Religious Education who knows the value of surprise and creativity in your chosen craft.

The other thing that should be said about the children’s liturgy is that you were undergoing chemo at the time and hadn’t been feeling so well. Yet Chris, passing on that Gospel story was so important to you. You were present to those kids despite any personal discomfort you were experiencing.

Chris, you have been known to quote the words of the late Queen Mother who, when asked how she kept such a busy schedule, would often say: ‘I just put on my hat and I go.’

Well Chris, you are not one for hats. But you are one for going. There are students at St Kevin’s who say they have never seen you walk, only run. You understand their world and the very physical nature of adolescent spirituality. You are famous, for example, for putting prayers up in the gym during Lent. If this is where the kids are, you know that God will find them there.

Chris, at this year’s Year 12 Valedictory Mass, one of the students mentioned doing the famous bread run with you as part of the St Vincent de Paul Group. With your characteristic doggedness you pestered Brumbies until they were willing to bypass some code or other they have and give you unsold bread. Then on Sunday nights, along with the students, you faithfully take the bread to places of need such as the House of Welcome in Fitzroy.

Chris, you have a great heart for God’s poor, evident since the days you were working at The Way mission in the 1980’s. You have accompanied students on hundreds of encounters with the marginalised from St Albans, Sunshine, Dandenong and the City. You are always asking them questions. You open their eyes. On two occasions you accompanied students to World Youth Day. In Brazil, it was vitally important to you that young people had some experience of the poor favelas, as well as the beaches.

Chris, the way you live is an inspiration. You ask for little for yourself. You are extraordinarily generous. You love your four children more than we can say and they love you. It is wonderful that Anna is here as well. You met each other at Newman College when you were Dean of Students there. Anna may recall that at your wedding, as people sat down to dinner, the people at Newman College had prepared something special for you. It was a vegemite sandwich. Many feel that the image of the vegemite sandwich, along with the pushbike you ride everywhere, should be on your coat of arms.

You are extraordinarily humble. You hardly told anyone about your success on the over 50’s tennis circuit which, before your illness this year, was on the point of taking you to represent Australia in Helsinki.

Chris, the depth of your spirituality was surely nurtured in the eight years you spent in the Jesuit Order. Subsequently, colleagues you met working in business at Perpetual Finance still remember you as someone special, a rare soul in the world of finance. But teaching is where you have found a home and it is as a wonderful teacher within Edmund Rice tradition that we honour you today.

When your illness was diagnosed, you told friends that ‘there will be grace even in this.’ Your friends needed to hear that. If only we could all be so passionate, so faith filled, so giving, so much in love with the Lord who, in recent times, has chosen such a challenging path for you.

Chris, we wish you every grace and blessing as you continue the road to good health. You continue to inspire through your resilience, positivity and trust in God’s plan. Please accept this award not only on our behalf, but on behalf of all whom you touch with your care, humility and compassion. Well done good and faithful son of Jesus and Edmund.

Dr Wayne Tinsey
Executive Director
Edmund Rice Education Australia
Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith


Ned Dwyer
Year 7
For his enthusiastic approach to being cox of Senior 3rd VIII Rowing.

Dominic Pretto
Year 8
For consistently supporting the value of inclusive community.

Andre Farnan-Aarons
Year 9
For his display of generosity through his charitable donations.

Adam Pacella
For embracing a liberating education through commitment to his academia.

Joseph Williams
For his determined approach to his studies during the examination period.

Jordan Moran

For his excellent contribution to our Kenny social justice partnership.

Jordan Graham

For his dedicated approach to the end of year Examinations.

Andy Duong

For his generosity of spirit and concern for the welfare of others.

Angus Diviny

For his mature and dedicated approach to Headstart Week.

Calendar Dates


Friday 2
Years 8-10 2017 Orientation Day
Year 10 OAP Leaders’ camp
Years Prep - 9 conclude

Saturday 3
Year 10 OAP Leaders’ camp

Sunday 4
Years 7/8 Presentation Ceremony
Years 10/11 Presentation Ceremony
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne Town Hall

Monday 5
Year 9 Presentation Evening
Smith Hall

Tuesday 6


Wednesday 7
College Board Meeting


Thursday 8
Year 12 Formal
Swap Shop

1.00 - 4.00pm

 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.

Full Article or Flyer: for inclusion on website (to be linked from the short article in the newsletter) to be sent in a separate Word document.


Semester Two Reports

Semester Two Reports will be available on the Portal from Sunday 11 December.

Please go to To access these reports, please select Parent Services on the left of the Portal Home Page, Parent Information Portal and Docs (from the top menu). Select your son’s name (on the right of the page) and his current report and previous reports, if applicable, should be visible. You may open or save these documents. 

Parents' Justice and Spirituality Group

Here is a special invitation. If you'd like to join a small group that reaches out from St Kevin's into the wider community, then this is for you. There are some great justice projects we could work on, possibly with some of our sons. They could be rewarding and inspiring. Some of the projects could be quite simple to start with. There are parents who'd like to take the spirituality of the school more to their own hearts, starting in practical ways in 2017. Why not come along and join our first meeting, just to find out more about it. This meeting is for adults.
Tuesday 6 December 2016
The Brandon Room at Heyington
Tea and coffee at 7.15pm. Starts at 7.30 sharp. Ends by 8.30.
An rsvp would be appreciated but is by no means essential. Please contact
 Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith

Summer Cricket Camp

The St Kevin’s College Summer Cricket Camp is returning in 2016. Hosted by SKC Cricket professionals Carl Sandri and Brendan Drew, in conjunction with the SKC Friends of Cricket, the camp offers three days of skill development and fun, with age specific programs for players from Years 3 to 8 involving daily master classes, individual and group coaching, giveaways, and guest player/coach appearances.

Date: December 5, 6 and 7
9.00am - 12.30pm
St Kevin's College, Heyington

Contact for information and bookings. 

 Mr Nick Baff
TIC Cricket

Aquatic Committee

The St Kevin's Aquatic Committee would like all parents of SKC divers and swimmers to save the following dates in their diaries for season 2017.

  • 4 February 2017
Welcome drinks for parents
Schlicht residence
  • 18 March 2017
Presentation Luncheon
Smith Hall
  • 20 March 2017
APS Swimming and Diving Final

Further details to follow at the commencement of the new school year.

Mrs Gabi Sorge
Secretary, Aquatic Committee

Combined Mothers' Association

First function for 2017

The St Kevin’s Mothers’ Association, in conjunction with the Glendalough Mothers’ Association, would like to announce their first function for 2017. 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! 

Thursday 16 February 2017
The Park Hyatt
12 Parliament Place, East Melbourne
$100.00 per person (includes two course meal, beverages plus a sweet)
3.00pm, Wednesday 8 February  - unless sold out prior
Via Trybooking -
Refer to home page for seating requests / allocations. 

Please note, due to capacity and the popularity of the event, there may be a crossover of mixed year level tables to accommodate seating requests; we sincerely appreciate your understanding.

Please note, this is a closed group and is only available for SKC Mother’s or Guardians.

Contact: Rachael McGarry – 0418 528 337
Mrs Molly Birch
St Kevin's Combined Mothers' Association


Instrumental Lessons

New applications for instrumental lessons are welcome. The application form is an electronic document which you will find at this link:

Remaining Term IV Music Dates

Saturday 3 December
Symphony Orchestra rehearsal for Presentation Ceremonies
Sunday 4 December
Years 7 - 8 and Years 10 - 11 Presentation Ceremonies
Monday 5 December
Year 9 Presentation Evening
Wednesday 7 December
Glendalough Instrument Try-out Day


  • Year 7 Instrumental lessons will commence on Wednesday 8 February
  • Year 8 -12 Instrumental lessons will commence on Thursday 2 February
  • Year 7 - 9 Ensembles will commence on Thursday 2 February

Music Office – C305

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

Cathedral Choir

Carols Service

As this is a service, there is no admission charge. Choir families are warmly invited to the supper afterwards in the Cathedral Room when presentations will be made to our Year 12 Choristers and our new Year 5 Choristers will be welcomed into the fold.

Excellentiam in Choro Award

Congratulations to the following boys on being the November recipients of the Choir’s monthly Excellence Award: Dominic Morelli, Year 7; Peter Shaw, Year 9.

Treble Rehearsals

The Trebles will rehearse at the Cathedral from next Tuesday onwards until the end of the year as per the schedule provided in the Choir Newsletter.

November Choir Newsletter

Dominic Morelli
Peter Shaw
The final Choir Newsletter for the year will be emailed out to Choristers and their parents tomorrow. 

Dates 2016

Friday 2
  No rehearsal for Trebles & Altos due to early finish
Sunday 4
Tuesday 6
9.00 - 10.30am
Trebles at the Cathedral
Thursday 8
7.00 - 8.30pm
Trebles with Full Choir 
  7.00 - 9.00pm
Tenors, Basses & Altos
Friday 9
CAROL SERVICE followed by Social Gathering 
Sunday 11
Tuesday 13 9.00 - 10.30am
Practice for Trebles at the Cathedral
Thursday 15
7.30 - 9.00pm
Tenors, Basses, Altos
Sunday 18
Monday 19
4.00 - 6.00pm
Full Choir Rehearsal in the Cathedral with Brass
Saturday 24
7.30pm rehearsal/ 8.30pm Sung Office/ 9.00pm Mass finishing around 10.30pm SUNG OFFICE & MASS OF CHRISTMAS EVE
Sunday 25
Solemn Mass of Christmas Day

Dates 2017

Choir Returns
Sunday 29 January (New Choristers at 8.30 am, Full Choir at 9.30 am)
Choir Luncheon
Sunday 29 January after Mass in the Cathedral Room
Choir Camp
Sunday 12 - Tuesday 14 March
Service at St Paul’s Cathedral
Sunday 4 June 
Hobart Choir Tour
Friday 6 - Sunday 8 October
No Choir Sundays
Sunday 9 April, Sunday 2 July, Sunday 9 July, 1 October
 Dr Daryl Barclay
Head of Choral Music
Director, St Patrick's Cathedral Choir


Swap Shop

The next Senior School Swap Shop opening is on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December, 1.00 – 4.00pm.

The Swap Shop is situated at Waterford Campus, 20 Darlington Parade, Richmond. For more information about the Swap Shop please click here.

This will be the last opportunity to purchase uniforms and merchandise before the start of Term 1, 2017.

We will be looking for volunteers to help in both the morning and afternoon of the sale days. If you are interested in helping please contact me with your name, mobile number and availability (am/pm) at

Please contact me on if you require any further information.
Mrs Samantha Beven
Convenor, Swap Shop