Senior School Newsletter

 4 December 2014, Volume 65 No. 36

Regular Notices

Other Notices

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents

The second week of Advent draws us ever closer to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Preparation for our spiritual Christmas can run parallel to a reflection on the past year and realistic assessment of our successes, our stumbles and our failings. We all, parents, staff, boys can use these next few weeks to prepare for Christmas and the year to come.

The boys will soon have at home reports, which will form the basis for discussion with parents. My regular advice is that there needs to be a few readings, separated by some reflective time, prior to setting goals for the year ahead, carefully prepared and willingly shared. The College Annual will give families another opportunity to enjoy looking back on the journey that was 2014. Our deep thanks to Ms Doran, Ms Graham and Mrs Brierty for their diligence, flair and persistence in producing such a fine document of our recent past.

Mr Doherty, Ms Canny, Mr McGirr and nine past senior student leaders joined me at Toolangi for three days as we prepared the student leadership group for 2015. The mentoring by past captains is a joy to observe and we have returned confident that our College will be well led next year. One calculation I completed in a calm moment at camp was that there are 278 formal leadership roles available to boys across Years 10 – 12. There is also the important fact that within the Tutor Groups and the myriad social justice and co-curricular activities, there are regular opportunities for unbadged leadership to influence for good and mould the tone of our school. All have the opportunity to lead. All receive some direction and training in leadership at SKC. It is my strong view that the unseen and perhaps unheralded leadership is often the most influential in maintaining an excellent school climate.

Our Year 6 boys have marked the end of their primary schooling with a formal luncheon in Boyd Egan and a family Mass at St Ignatius. They will walk confidently across the bridge – metaphorically and literally – to Heyington next year after a very strong year at Glendalough. Friday night I will be spoilt by our smallest Kevinians and their LMH sisters at the St Peter’s ELC Christmas Liturgy. It is always a delightfully happy night which Kate and I love attending.

Sunday evening, Years 7, 8, 10 and 11, alongside Year 12 leaders, will celebrate the year’s academic endeavours at Hamer Hall, commencing at 4.00pm. Students will be in formal uniform – long trousers and jackets – groomed and dressed to our SKC high standards. I encourage families to attend and ask that role modelling in dress and demeanour is part of the parental influence on this formal and enjoyable evening.

The Waterford community, staff, parents and boys will gather on Monday evening in Smith Hall as we recognise the special year an SKC Richmond Hill education achieves.

The College academic staff will be involved in a full week of professional learning after the lads complete classes. Curriculum Review, First Aid courses, School Improvement Framework focus groups, co-curricular meetings and training will keep all busy and have us ready for 2015. The College office and the Leadership Team will return for part of the following week as our VCE results flow in, with the office closing on 17 December.

I thank all who have contributed to 2014. Do enjoy Omnia as some pre-Christmas reading and may the blessings of Christmas be upon all our St Kevin’s community. I conclude with a wonderful reflection a fellow Head recently shared …
  Christmas is an ending and a beginning. It celebrates the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. I hope it also ends a year of accumulated hostilities and the beginning of renewed amity. Why? Because Christmas is a story about healing.

The Epiphany break is a time of re-creation. Proper recreation takes more than a few good nights of sleep. For me, it usually takes two weeks of rest from responsibility and the incessant whine of leaf blowers!

We also need holiness. It's a peculiar word redolent in ecclesial overtones. But, holiness is more than candles, incense and priestly vestments. It is being set apart from the distractions of this world to spend time with God. This is why we need Christmas. It diverts us from the bad and encourages us to think of the good. We can ponder on the words whispered to an apostle 2000 years ago:

God so loved the world that
He gave his only son.

  That act of love offers us healing and holiness. It gives us the ability to live at peace with each other and with our God. 

Kind regards

Stephen F Russell

St Kevin's will value diversity and friendship within the community.
(from the Mission Statement) 

Faith and Mission


Last Saturday, we had our annual street party. Every year, the event follows a similar routine. Late in the afternoon, officials from the local council put barricades at either end of the street, a bit like what happens in Les Miserables. The difference is that here the citizens bring out their BBQ’s and start passing around nibbles. Most of the people in our neck of the woods tend to drive places, so it is a rare chance to catch up on the news of the year. The rest of the time, we just wave from our cars. It is good to share the small talk that flowers on the branches of busy lives.

The highlight of the evening is always the turning on of the Christmas lights. Our street does Christmas lights in a major way. We were warned of this before we moved in and we were not sure if it was a positive or a negative. As Christmas draws closer, lots of visitors walk up and down, admiring our rich variety of inflatable santas and illuminated reindeer. There are a few neon stars as well and, in keeping with ancient Christmas tradition, some electric Australian fauna.

At a certain point, the whole population of the street stands in front of each house and counts down from ten to one. At the end, the lights fire up and everyone claps. If the lights extend to the roof, there will be gasps of admiration for those who have risked life and limb in the cause of kitsch.

This year, we all paused in front of one place a few doors from us that was, sadly, little more than a blackened shell. On a Sunday night a fortnight earlier, the house had been burnt out in a freak fire.

Leigh stood there with her two children and made a small speech to the rest of the street. She recalled the day sixteen years before when they had bought the place after it was passed in at auction. Her eldest was then a baby. The family had grown together in the house. Indeed, she had just had some quotes on repainting and fixing the garden. In the midst of such plans, the unplanned exerted the unrestrained power it has, to be frank, in all our lives. On a cold spring night, they lit a fire. An ember found its way into the mortar and waited for a gust of air a few days later. The house took fire with such ferocity that the family was fortunate to escape with their lives.

‘We were just lucky we were still awake', said Leigh. ‘We didn’t have to get up the following morning because it was a pupil free day at school, so we were watching Terminator'.

Leigh joked that there couldn’t be too many people whose lives had been saved by Terminator.

She thanked the street for the collection that had been taken up and for many other signs of support. The kindness of neighbours had made a world of difference. She mentioned that the only room to survive in reasonable condition was the dining room and this meant she still had the framed photos of her children that marked the significant moments of their childhood. She was thankful that something of such significance had survived. There was other stuff that cost much more but which was worth much less.

There was warm applause and hugs.
Then, lo and behold, unknown to the family, neighbours had strung lights over the fence in front of the blackened shell. Suddenly, darkness was thrown into gaudy light. Gaudy is a word that deserves to be reunited with its origins. It comes from the Latin, gaudemus which means let us rejoice. The family laughed at the absurdity of it all. We all did.

There is a lot of Christmas in this story.

During Advent, we hear the words ‘the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light'. It is no coincidence that some of the core stories of the season take place in the small hours. The shepherds watched their flocks by night. The magi followed a star to Bethlehem. We have sung ‘Silent Night’ since we were children. That’s because we believe that a light has shone in our darkness. It is a mystery worth more than a few bon-bons and a leg of ham.

May I wish blessings on the whole St Kevin’s Community at Christmas and the end of the year. May I also thank the many valiant people who persevere with reading this part of the newsletter. I appreciate your generosity. The most important thing under any tree is the earth. May all of us learn to share it in wisdom, peace and love.
Mr Michael McGirr
Dean of Faith & Mission

Fullness Of Life

This week at St Kevin’s College...

  • Mr Hart and Kenny students assisted with the serving of breakfast at St Mary’s House of Welcome.
  • Year 10 OAP Leaders Camp took place.
  • Year 12, 2015 Student Leadership Camp was conducted.
  • Glendalough Carols were performed.
  • Years 7 - 9 Correction Days took place.
  • APS Delegates Meeting was attended by Mr Davenport.
  • Year 10 Review Meeting occurred.
  • Year 6 Farewell Lunch and Mass took place.
  • College Board Meeting was held.
  • Years 8, 9 and 10 Orientation Days were conducted.
  • Retirement celebrations for John Mount were held.
  • Staff completed professional development at the Science Conference, Mathematics Conference and VCE Coordinators Conference.
Ms Janet Canny
Director of Students

Calendar Dates

Thursday 4
Year 6 classes conclude
Year 6 Farewell Mass
St Ignatius, Richmond
Friday 5
Years 8 - 10 2015 Orientation Day
Year 10 OAP Leaders' Camp
Years Prep - 9 conclude

Saturday 6
Summer APS Sport Fixtures
Sunday 7
Presentation Ceremony (Yrs 7,8,10 & 11)   4.00pm
Hamer Hall, Melbourne
Monday 8
Year 9 Presentation Ceremony
Smith Hall, Heyington
Tuesday 9
Rowing Camp begins     
Thursday 11
Swap Shop Open
1.00pm - 5.00pm
Friday 12
Staff conclude
Swap Shop Open
Rowing Camp ends  

1.00pm - 5.00pm

Saturday 13  STAR Camp begins
Monday 15  VCE Results available
STAR Camp ends 
Wednesday 17
Leadership Team concludes
College Office closes  
Thursday 29
Year 7 Orientation Day     
Friday 30
Term 1 begins
 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.


Formatting Requirements: Font:
  Font Size:
  Word Count:
Approximately 100 for a short article to be included in newsletter.

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 using the same formatting requirements as above.


Outdoor Education

All St Kevin's parents are encouraged to visit the new Outdoor Education website on the College Portal. It will become your information hub for all Outdoor Education information. Please ask your son to direct you to the website and show you around. Please email Cameron Barry for any further enquiries.

Mr Cameron Barry 
Head of Outdoor Education


Co-curricular Summer Sports

Please check the Current Fixtures each Thursday afternoon for any sport draw changes.

Please click here to view last weekend's APS Sport Results

Please click here for this weekend's APS Sport Fixtures

Mr Luke Travers
Dean of Sport


Senior Music News

Presentation Ceremony Performances

The Senior Choir and Senior Concert Band will both perform at the Presentation Ceremony in Hamer Hall on Sunday 7 December. There is one extra rehearsal to be held in preparation for these important performances:

  • Senior Concert Band Saturday 6 December 10.00am - 11.00am Victor McMahon Music Centre 

The letter giving details of these rehearsals and the call times on Sunday 7 December is available at this link - (click here).

Music Calendar

Thursday 4 December - Year 6 Farewell Mass

Sunday 7 December - Presentation Evening Years 7, 8, 10 and 11    

Monday 8 December - Year 9 Presentation Evening       

Music Office - C305

The Music Office C305, 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

Scholarships 2016

Applications Now Open

The College will be offering a number of Scholarships for 2016.

Academic Scholarships are available for entry into Years 5, 7 and 10 in 2016. Choral Scholarships for entry into Year 5, 2016 and Instrumental Scholarships for entry into Year 7, 2016.

Registration details can be located on the College website (click here).  

Mr David Hill

Old Collegians News 

St Kevin's Old Boys Community Golf Day

St Kevin’s Old Boys Community Golf Day (for the broader St Kevin’s Old Boys affiliated player fraternity)

Date:  Friday 12 December 
Spring Valley Golf Club
12.30pm start
$85 per person/ $50 (Class of 2009 - 2013)

Golfers MUST book through TryBooking - Contact Don Martin (SKC ’62) Ph: 9859 9922 or 
Mr Kevin Culliver
Executive Officer Old Collegians Association

SKC Rowing Association 

RV Schools Carey Regatta - Carrum Results

It was a great day's rowing from our Year 9 Quads at Carrum. Unfortunately, we scratched one crew due to a few illnesses and injuries. However, we were thrilled with the results of all competing crews. The victorious 9A combination of Lachlan O'Shea, Christopher Johnson, Alistair Richards, Anthony Seaton and Oscar Sinni, showed technical prowess and grit to take out the blue riband event. This is the second gold medal they have collected in as many weeks. The 9Bs and 9H crews also podiumed in A-Finals, proving we have great depth in the cohort. Most pleasing was the terrific attendance of parents, particularly the generous work done by Mr Tim O'Leary (father of Benedict) as a Boat Race Official, ensuring a smoothly run regatta. We now concentrate on a period of rigorous training over summer.

Final Results:

9A  Hoogenbosch  1st Div 1 A Final 
9B  Shirer  3rd Div 1 A Final 
9C  Portelli  5th Div 1 B Final 
Gook  4th Div 2 A Final
9E  Bennett  3rd Div 2 B Final 
9F  Slattery  1st Div 2 C Final 
9G  Ryan  3rd Div 3 B Final 
9H  Gallagher  2nd Div 3 A Final 
9J  Zupan  4th Div 4 B Final 
9K  Guinane  5th Div 4 A Final 

End of Season Sausage Sizzle

Rowers and their families are invited to join us this Saturday at the Boat Shed to celebrate the end of the year.
Saturday 6 December
SKC Boat Shed
10.00am - 12.00 noon
Parents and Families - $2.00 per person

The BBQ will fire up at 10:00am and finish around 12.00pm . Boys can collect some food after their session, free of charge. Parents and families $2.00 for a sausage in bread. SKC Rowing Merchandise available for sale. To download a copy of the invitation - (click here).

For all enquiries please contact Michael Bennett (TIC SKC Rowing) or 0422 127 807.

Please (click here) to download the current St Kevin's Rowing Bulletin. 

Save these dates 2015

Victorian State Championships BBQ

Date:  Saturday 28 February 
Venue:  St Kevin's Rowing Shed
Time:  Commencing after boys return from Ballarat, concluding at 7.00pm

Rowing Presentation Evening

Date:  Tuesday 17 March 
Venue:  Smith Hall, Heyington 
Time:  6.00pm 
Senior Crews will be off the water at 5.00pm so that we can commence the Rowing Presentation Evening as close to 6.00pm as possible.

Head of the Rivers Regatta H.O.R Gourmet BBQ

Date:  Saturday 21 March, 2015
Nagambie Lakes
BBQ to follow conclusion of event 
Mr Michael Bennett
TIC Rowing

Swap Shop 

Term 4 - Thursday 11 & Friday 12 December

The Swap Shop will be open this term on the above mentioned days from 1.00pm - 5.00pm at the Waterford Campus, Darlington Parade, Richmond.

This is the busiest sale of the year and we hope that the increased opening hours will take some of the pressure off families wishing to purchase uniforms.

More volunteers are required to help prepare with labelling and preparing uniforms for this sale. Christine Quirk will be at the Swap Shop on Monday 8 and Wednesday 10 December from 11.00am - 3.00pm. Please contact Christine by email or text your details to the number provided below, if you are available to help.

We are always looking for uniform items to sell, so if any families have uniforms that they no longer require then please send them to us. Please click on the following page to see all the requirements - (click here)

Please contact Christine Quirk if you require any further information - 0403 338 765.

Mrs Christine Quirk
Swap Shop Co-ordinator

Senior Mothers' Association  

Save the date - first function for 2015!

The St Kevin’s Mothers’ Association would like to announce their first function for 2015, a special luncheon to celebrate an exciting year ahead, along with opportunity to meet new families to the College. Last year’s luncheon was a huge success! Get in early to book! Zinc is convenient to Flinders Street Station and also offers garage car parking close by.

Date:  Thursday 12 February, 2015 
Venue:  Zinc at Federation Square - Flinders and Russell Street Extension, Melbourne 
12.30pm  (following the Opening School Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, 10.45am)
$90 per person  (incl. two course meal, beverages and a sweet treat)
Trybooking -
(please refer to booking sight for parties of FIVE or more)
RSVP:  Thursday 7 February, 2015
Contact:  Further enquiries please contact Molly Birch - 0407 849 762 
Download a copy of the invitation for the fridge door - (click here)

Please note, for 2015, RSVP dates will be strictly enforced. It has necessitated as matter of professional courtesy and etiquette to be accommodating with the venues and/or the catering group who are providing the SKC community with their fine level of service for an event. This also includes year level functions whether hosted at a venue, or at a private home. Thank you for your understanding.
Mrs Molly Birch
President Senior Mothers' Association 2015

SKC Merchandise

St Kevin's Towel Orders

At just $50 each these towels are embroidered with your son's name and in theory, will never be lost! Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery. Delivery will be to the College to your son's classroom.

Please click here for the link to TryBooking to order.
Further enquiries please contact Mrs Ann James - SKC Merchandising. 

If you are not a current parent and no longer require your subscription to this Newsletter please 'unsubscribe' with the link provided at the bottom of the front page.