Me and My Mentor: St Aloysius College’s Nadia Lavelle and Brooke Sekhon

Arts prefect and year 12 student Brooke Sekhon is a talented performer who plans to be a midwife. Her drama teacher (and year 10 level leader at St Aloysius College), Nadia La Velle, shares her love of the creative. She has been mentoring and encouraging Brooke to be a confident and involved school leader.

Brooke says …

Brooke Sekhon. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Brooke Sekhon. Photo: Michael Rayner.

I’ve been at St Aloysius since year 7 and Ms La Velle has been my drama teacher for the past two years. I’m arts prefect so we work together on a lot of arts-based things at the school. I’ve been heavily involved in promoting arts events – performance evenings and art exhibits and drama evenings. I work with the arts department to get students involved in the arts more and get them out of their comfort zones.

My background is music. I play guitar and I sing, and, before I did drama as a subject, that was the strongest arts connection for me at the school. I’ve been playing guitar since prep and I’ve been singing since just before primary school ended.

I originally was into country music but probably pop [now], and the old ’90s stuff because of my parents’ influence.

I used to write my own music, but not so much anymore because of time and my studies. I’m working on my end-of-year solos that will be part of our exam. We’re given 10 stimulus to choose from by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and I have to pick one to develop a character and a performance.

After St Aloysius, I want to study nursing at Australian Catholic University. I’ve always loved babies so I want to do a postgrad in midwifery, but the arts will always be a big part of my life.

Ms La Velle and I have always had a great student-teacher relationship. This year we’ve worked closely because I’m arts prefect. She has taught me a lot: No. 1, a very good sense of style and, No. 2, how to be more confident as a woman. She’s also taught me how to carry myself and believe in myself more.

Nadia says …

Nadia La Velle. Photo: Michael Rayner.

Nadia La Velle. Photo: Michael Rayner.

I started last year so I’m quite new to the school. I teach year 7-VCE drama so it’s busy but really enjoyable. This year I am directing the school musical, Bye Bye Birdie. Some of the students hadn’t heard of it, but I told them they would love it. It has a lot of big ensemble numbers and is lots of fun.

My drama teacher at MacKillop Catholic Regional College inspired me to teach drama. She was always encouraging me to do more and to go further. She was a role model for me and that led me into the arts.

When I started teaching in 2003, I taught in New York and got my first job in Australia at my old high school before moving on.

For 12 years I taught boys and now I’m at an all-girls school, which is a completely different dynamic. Teaching these girls has really made me enjoy teaching again because of their commitment. I have a lot of time for my students, especially my drama students, who show me their dedication and their passion and commitment to it. Brooke is one of those students.

Brooke’s a very hard worker; she’s very passionate about the arts, even though she doesn’t see her career going that way. I think she will still be involved in some way.

She’s really good as arts prefect. I’ve been teaching for many years and I’ve worked with some really good leaders and she’s one of the good ones. She’s extremely organised and willing to get involved. She’s taught me a lot.

St Aloysius College
31 Curran Street, North Melbourne
03 9325 9200.

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