Together We Serve: Locally and Globally
Located in the suburbs of Melbourne, St Bede’s College has been offering boys a Christian and human education in years 7 to 12 since 1938. The original Mentone campus is still in operation, but in early 2021 the school amalgamated with St James Regional College, another Lasallian boys' school in Bentleigh East. The Bentleigh East location is now an auxiliary campus, and has adopted St Bede’s name and uniform. However, it only serves students in Years 7 through 9, while the Mentone campus offers instruction through Year 12.
When it first opened, St Bede’s College was a day and boarding school, serving students from across Victoria and the southern regions of New South Wales, in addition to South-East Asia, the South Pacific, and Melbourne’s expat community. Today, the independent Catholic college functions solely as a day school and educates around 1900 students.
An Active Community of Learning and Faith: What’s happening at St Bede’s
This year, St Bede’s College will celebrate its 85th anniversary. In February, Bishop Tony Ireland celebrated the school’s 85th Anniversary Family Mass. The Mass concluded with the anointing and commissioning of the College Student Leaders. The following week, the school hosted Br. Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University in the West Bank of Palestine. The event raised $2000 to help educate a young Palestinian student. At the end of March, St Bede’s will participate in Mission Action Day to raise money for Lasallian schools and works in Balgo (Western Australia), Papua New Guinea and Pakistan. In honor of their 85th anniversary, their goal is to raise $85,000.
Beyond Graduation: The Lasallian Connection
St Bede’s College is proud to be part of the global network of Lasallian schools and works. The Lasallian Connection at St. Bede’s offers alums and past students a chance to stay involved even after their time at St Bede’s has ended. While still students, those in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 can serve as Lasallian Youth Leaders and mentor their younger peers in expressing their faith through service. Upon graduating, alums and past pupils - Old Collegians - are frequently invited to join retreats or reflection days to share with current students how they have carried the Lasallian values of Faith, Service, and Community into their lives after college. Those trained as Lasallian Youth Leaders or College Leaders can even serve as retreat facilitators or support personnel for small group activities. Alums can also volunteer their time or resources to Camp La Salle; a fun, affordable holiday experience for Year 8 students who do not usually have the opportunity to go on holiday.
Serving Locally and Globally
For the 2023 academic year, Principal Frizza has announced a College theme based on the Lasallian ideals of Faith, Service, and Community. The theme is “Together We Serve: Locally and Globally.” She has outlined the guiding principles of this theme: genuinely caring for the wellbeing of others; sharing with those less fortunate; standing up against injustice; being interested in world affairs, especially those parts of the world plagued by conflict and despair; and considering the impact personal choices have on the environment.
St Bede’s College already participates in several charitable activities and service projects, and Together We Serve is designed to underscore these efforts and intensify their impact.
The Lasallian Foundation
Through Mission Action Day (MAD), one of the College’s biggest fundraising initiatives, St Bede’s helps support the Lasallian Foundation and, by extension, dozens of Lasallian Schools and works throughout the ANZPPNG District. Founded in 2004, the Lasallian Foundation now focuses most of its efforts on Pakistan and Papua New Guinea; however, it has also supported projects and initiatives in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and South Sudan.
The Lasallian Foundation creates opportunities for students to live a better future. Poverty and lack of education create a vicious cycle that keeps people worldwide trapped in grim circumstances. Lasallian Schools and works provide children and youth with skills, knowledge, and opportunity to seek higher education and gainful employment. The Lasallian Foundation is primarily funded by Lasallian Schools and organisations in Australia and New Zealand, like St Bede’s College.
For more information about the Lasallian Foundation visit https://www.lasallianfoundation.org.au/about-us/history/
Apart from the Lasallian Foundation, St Bede’s College supports several other charities. Project Compassion supports the work of Caritas. The Winter Appeal and the Christmas Hamper Drive benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society. St Bede’s also honors the scholarly work of their patron by donating school books and educational resources to the Les Twentyman Foundation.