DIRECTOR OF SCHOOLS, CATHOLIC SCHOOLS BROKEN BAY– Over 200 years, Catholic educators have made an enormous contribution to our country and provided opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds. I am a graduate of Catholic Education – it was where I was formed; it was where I was challenged to be the best I could be academically, and it was where my faith was nourished. It is a special privilege to be leading Catholic schools in Broken Bay at this time of celebration. Catholic Schools continue to have an important role in inspiring hearts and minds, to know Christ, to love learning and to be the very best they can be. We will use this time of celebration to build on our proud legacy and unlock the great potential of the Catholic School System.
CHAIR, NATIONAL CATHOLIC EDUCATION COMMISSION – It’s a remarkable achievement that Catholic education has successfully responded to meet the needs of Australia’s changing population, and economic and social circumstances over 200 years. As we celebrate this significant milestone, it’s timely to take stock of all that has been achieved and to look ahead to identify how we can better deliver an excellent standard of Catholic schooling for generations of young people to come.
Alida Broken, Mawson Kidman & Poppy Flint
STUDENTS AT MARY MACKILLOP MEMORIAL SCHOOL, PENOLA SOUTH AUSTRALIA – We were a part of the Faith in the Future song and video. At the time, and now when we watch it back, we feel really special and proud that we were able to represent our school and the whole community in that sort of way. We felt like we could express how we feel about Catholic Education in song form – and we love to sing. The microphones and camera felt very weird, but it came out really well.
200 Years is a really long time and to be part of the celebrations by contributing to the music video we felt like we were part of something special. Being a part of Catholic Education is a nice place to be. We see Mary MacKillop as a role model and we look up to her to be the best people we possibly can. Standing outside the school house we were thinking what she has taught us about living a simple life.
TEACHER, ST BERNARD’S PRIMARY, BATEMANS BAY – Teaching in a Catholic School for 15 years has allowed me to develop teaching as a vocation, not only a profession. My role in the Canberra Goulburn Catholic Education community has encouraged me to remain anchored in my faith, and to be the ‘heart, voice and hands of Christ’ in everything I do each day, making a difference in a child’s life and in their learning.
Paul and Jan Watkins
MARRIED EDUCATORS ORIGINALLY FROM THE UK – Jan and Paul have worked within the Diocese of Toowoomba and often at the same school for 40 years. “I have fond memories of when we first joined Toowoomba Catholic Schools, back then it was relatively small and like a family and our children also grew up within this family.” – Jan. “We always depended on each other as we had no family close by, we appreciated the support of our local school communities.” – Paul.
Cindy Maree Gangell
ST VIRGIL’S COLLEGE HOBART, ARCHDIOCESE OF HOBART – Cindy Maree has served for 25 years in Catholic education. “Seeing students achieve their career/apprenticeship goals from being involved in the work experience programme at St Virgil’s College has been a highlight. I have also enjoyed being a part of the school community as well as the friendship I have formed over the years with staff, parents and students. I hope Catholic education in Tasmania will move forward in the needs of the next generation.”
EDUCATION OFFICER EARLY YEARS, TASMANIAN CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE – Jane has served for 25 years in Catholic education. As a student she attended Our Lady of Lourdes where her mother was also a teacher, later attended St Brendan-Shaw College. As a University student Jane volunteered at her former primary school, and upon graduation sought out teaching positions in Catholic schools. “When I began teaching there were no computers, emails, etc and we wrote reports by hand! I enjoy the opportunity to be a part of a community that recognises and welcomes the individuality of students and staff. I am able to share my love of these early years with like-minded teachers in my role as Education Officer Early years.”
Professor Zlatko Skrbis
VICE CHANCELLOR AND PRESIDENT OF
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY –
The celebration of 200 years of
Catholic education in Australia is a
time for us to pause and remember
that from humble beginnings,
Catholic schools and universities
have gone on to play a significant
role in the story of education in
Australia. While we celebrate the
past, we also look to the future. As
vice chancellor, I am delighted
that ACU is, and will continue to
be, a proud contributor to Catholic
education in Australia. As we
enter the next century of Catholic
education in Australia let us continue
to work together to build on this
legacy for future generations of
GENERAL MANAGER, CLIENT, SALES &
DISTRIBUTION CATHOLIC CHURCH INSURANCE
It was a privilege to have had a
wonderful 12 years of Catholic
education, through both primary
and secondary school. Well beyond
the learning experiences and the
enduring connections and relationships
that were formed, this provided an
amazing foundation to be bold, pursue
opportunities and lead an intentional
life. These lifelong Catholic education
experiences and values have now
come full circle through giving back to our Catholic community in my work
with Catholic Church Insurance and
CatholicCare Victoria. To my many
wonderful Catholic teachers all those
years ago, thank you for your inspiration
that still lives on today.
Professor Francis Campbell
VICE CHANCELLOR UNIVERSITY
OF NOTRE DAME –
It is a privilege, honour and a great
joy for our university to be a Principal
Partner as we celebrate 200 years of
Catholic education in Australia with
the NCEC. Many of the wonderful
characteristics most commendable
in our Catholic education system
are inherent in the values of our faith
and tradition which I am sure will
continue to result in students around
the country having a positive and
wholistic impact on society.
ALUMNI, ST XAVIER’S SCHOOL GUNNEDAH, DIOCESE OF ARMIDALE – My Catholic education meant the world to me and I am so grateful for the grace and wisdom of the Mercy nuns. My grandchildren are fifth generation students at St Xavier’s School in Gunnedah and the love, kindness and forgiveness that is taught is reflected in their Catholic Education. As a family, we are truly blessed by Catholic education. My hope is for the teachings of Jesus to never be abandoned and for our children to enjoy a broad education with the love of God shining through.
Sr Catherine O’Connor
CONGREGATIONAL LEADER BRIGIDINE SISTERS – We join and celebrate with all who have benefitted from, contributed to and continue the long, rich and fruitful history of 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC EDUCATION ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA & GOULBURN – One of the most humbling experiences in my life happened when I was enjoying the fare at a local food outlet. Just before I placed my order, I saw one of the chefs lean over and whisper in the ear of the young guy at the till. As I went to pay for my dinner, I was told that it was on the house, the chef was covering the cost of the meal. Once I was told his name I recognised who he was. Now in his late teens he had only been at the school where I had been Principal for Years 7/8. He smiled broadly and said this was a way of saying thanks for the kindness I had shown to him. I firmly believe that my disposition to show kindness to others comes from the kindness and care that I have experienced in Catholic Education.
Sr Jillian Havey OP AM
PRINCIPAL OF ST DOMINIC’S PRIORY COLLEGE, NORTH ADELAIDE SA –
As far as I can see there is no greater calling than that of the teacher. Teaching is a sacred act and a demanding one. I think all Catholic schools do a great job of teaching most offer an experience that helps people to be true to themselves and to give back to the community and that is very important, to make the most of their gifts.
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC SUPERANNUATION
AND RETIREMENT FUND CEO –
As an alumnus of Marcellin College
Randwick, I believe that the values and
opportunities offered by the Catholic
education system are invaluable. My 10
years there certainly played a big part
in my formation and the person I am
today. I was privileged to be the Finance
Manager at the Catholic Education
Office Sydney for four years from 1990.
I also spent 30 years as honorary
Secretary for the Religious Retirement
Fund, designed for those religious
men and women that served Catholic
education in Sydney, Broken Bay and Parramatta. I am proud to lead a Fund
that has been helping members of the
Catholic teaching community manage
their retirement savings since 1981.
Australian Catholic Superannuation
celebrates the significant role that
Catholic educators continue to play in
nurturing young minds and importantly,
shaping students’ ethics and values.
Congratulations to Catholic education
on its first 200 years in Australia!
ST MARY’S COLLEGE HOBART, ARCHDIOCESE OF HOBART – My education began at St Thomas More’s in Launceston and after my family moved to Hobart I went to Immaculate Heart of Mary then went on to complete my schooling at Sacred Heart College,. I never imagined being involved in any other schools. However, I started working at St Mary’s College in 1996 as a Teacher’s assistant in their very first Kindergarten class. I have worked with the most kind and supportive staff for 25 years.
Sister Philippa Murphy
PROVINCIAL LEADER DAUGHTERS OF OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART – As we celebrate two hundred years of Catholic Education let us remind ourselves of our proud history and may this be a time for all involved in Catholic Education to a renewed commitment to being open to the light of Christ that shines in our history and in our hearts. We are thankful to those who have gone before us and for the sound foundations they have laid, which enable us to provide an excellent holistic education, to our young people, based on the spirit of Jesus Christ. Together may we strive to make a difference in our community, country and indeed our world – A difference that enables and enhances others to live and realise values of love, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation. Catholic Education now and always ‘Strong in Faith, Strong in Education’.
TEACHER, ST CLARE OF ASSISI PRIMARY SCHOOL CONDER, ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA & GOULBURN – I have been lucky enough to have experienced four first days in Catholic schools in Canberra, as a primary school student, high school student, university student and finally a primary school teacher. I am the person I am today because of my experiences learning and teaching in Catholic education. My hope is that I can continue to carry the flame for Catholic education and support the students I teach to lead their best life.
STUDENT, MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS SAWTELL, TOORMINA DIOCESE OF LISMORE NSW – I love being in a Catholic school. One of my favourite parts of the day is when we pray together in class. Our teacher leads us and today we reflect. I like to think that Jesus is walking with me every step of the way.
EDUCATION OFFICER CATHOLIC IDENTITY & EVANGELISATION, TASMANIAN CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE – School life began with the 5 km gravel road walk to St Michael’s Convent School. The Sisters of Mercy took great care of us. My teaching vocation in Catholic education began in 1986. I taught or was principal at four schools across the north and north west of Tasmania, retiring in 2016 from regional leadership. I started a new career as an education officer in 2018. It has been an incredible honour to be part of the journey of Catholic education in Australia.
TEACHER, OUR GOOD COUNCEL CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, FORESTVILLE DIOCESE BROKEN BAY – Stefanie was certified as Highly Accomplished Lead Teacher in 2020. “As a teacher and leader within the Catholic school system, my hopes for the future of Catholic education is that our communities witness and are provided with rich learning experiences about the life of Christ, the impact of his teachings and connections to our future world, bringing life to His Word and mission.”
YEAR 12 (2020), ST MARGARET MARY’S COLLEGE, HYDE PARK TOWNSVILLE –
Catholic education is one of the richest forms of education because not only does it provide you with the skills required to pursue further study or work but it also provides a platform to develop faith, compassion which go beyond the teachings of a textbook. Catholic education has had a major impact on my life by allowing me to develop a sense of social justice, compassion for others and to deepen my faith.
John Mula OAM
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC EDUCATION SOUTH AUSTRALIA – For me, Catholic education is special because it is focused on the person and their individual growth, but also on the community. That power of connection is such an important part of Catholic education. Catholic education has been very faithful to me so I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
SACRED HEART CATHOLIC SCHOOL ULVERSTONE, ARCHDIOCESE OF HOBART – Michelle has served for 25 years in Catholic education. “Working in Catholic education provides me a sense of belonging, enjoyment, faith, courage, and direction. For me, the thing that brings the most enjoyment is working with all within the school community. I also enjoy collaborating with all staff to ensure that we are providing the best possible educational outcomes for the students within our care.”
EARLY CAREER TEACHER & INNOVATION LEAD TEACHER EPPING, CATHOLIC SCHOOLS DIOCESE BROKEN BAY – As an Early Career Teacher entering the Catholic Education System, I have many hopes for our future generations to come. I hope Catholic Education continues to foster Catholic values through biblical and real-life examples of the Catholic tradition, mission and faith, in all our schools. I hope educators nurture and strengthen children’s sense of identity and agency in all their learning endeavours to help navigate the unknown technological world with courage, using Jesus’ example and teachings.
Brother Nicholas Harsas fsp OAM
PRINICIPAL, HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL CARNES HILL, ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY – I have been immersed in Catholic education for a quarter of a century! The impact of faith-filled and committed Catholic school teachers inspired my vocation as a Patrician Brother and a fulfilling and rewarding teaching ministry in Catholic education. As the last remaining Religious Principal in Sydney Catholic Schools I feel privileged and inspired to be part of the current generation of school leaders and staff who are as committed to the mission of Catholic education as those of the past.
YEAR 3 TEACHER, ROSARY PARK CATHOLIC SCHOOL BRANXTON, DIOCESE OF MAITLAND-NEWCASTLE – As a former student and now teacher in the Catholic system, I hope my students can reflect and build on their experience in a Catholic school as I have done. Throughout our schooling we are challenged and supported to reach our full potential, not only academically, but also as compassionate, informed, tolerant, and just members of society. As a Catholic educator, I am blessed with being able to build a greater connection with my students based on shared faith.
PRINCIPAL EDUCATION OFFICER RE & FAITH FORMATION, CATHOLIC EDUCATION ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA & GOULBURN – I have had the enormous blessing of being immersed in the world of Catholic Education for almost 60 years. My primary education was conducted by the Sisters of Mercy and secondary school was influenced by the Christian Brothers. They taught me the notion of building community and selfless service that drew me into the vocation of teaching. We must never lose sight of the fact that the Mission of Catholic Education is part of the Mission of the Church.
ALUMNI, ST JOSEPH’S PARISH SCHOOL HILLSTON, DIOCESE OF WILCANNIA FORBES – William attended St Joseph’s and was the first School Captain with a disability. “Being a School Captain, Sports Captain, SRC Member, Peer Support Leader, Mini Vinnies Council Vice President and School Flag Monitor, it has changed the way I look at my schooling. When I attended St Joseph Hillston I went the Bishop of Wilcannia Forbes Columba Macbeth-Green’s Ordination, which was exciting as only three students attended. Since graduating from St Joseph Hillston, it has made me want to become a teacher or a teacher’s aide.”
ALUMNI, ST SIMON THE APOSTLE PRIMARY ROWVILLE & AVILA COLLEGE MOUNT WAVERLY – Having the opportunity to strengthen my faith through some of the most important developmental years of my life was an absolute blessing. The main element of my Catholic education that absolutely shaped the person I am today, is that sense of community that came with having that shared belief and faith.
ALUMNI, PADUA COLLEGE MORINGTON, ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE – My Catholic education gave me a real sense of what social justice means in the context that we live in today. There was opportunity to participate in faith and Catholic ethos in different ways. Being able to participate in a lot of activities, fundraisers and initiatives both in Australia and overseas, gave me the opportunity to explore my own passions through an educational context.
SACRED HEART CATHOLIC SCHOOL, LAUNCESTONY, ARCHDIOCESE OF HOBART – Janine has served for 25 years in Catholic education. “I’ve never seen a child who doesn’t want to learn, so I enjoy making education available to them in the most suitable way. I hope that the role of Teacher’s Assistants within Catholic education continues to evolve so TA’s can increase their availability and support in classrooms.”
EARLY CAREER TEACHER, ST JOSEPH’S HIGH SCHOOL, ABERDEEN – I cherish the opportunity to work as a teacher in Catholic education, a vocation that has provided the rewarding opportunity to change the lives of young people in a meaningful way. It is my belief that the Gospel values taught in Catholic education shape students with the character to lead positive and fulfilling lives.
ST MICHAEL’S PRIMARY NOWRA, WOLLONGONG DIOCESE – Dylan’s Catholic education had such an impact on him that he’s now back at his old primary school as a teacher, sharing a class with his Year 5 teacher Maree Hamilton who inspired his love for education. “Maree taught me to see the child before the student. As teachers we can have a big influence on our students. Our job is to live like Jesus – to love everyone.”
PRINICIPAL, ST JOSEPH’S PARISH SCHOOL HILLSTON WILCANNIA FORBES DIOCESE – Bev Hayes has been associated with Catholic education for most of her life. Bev previously worked at St Joseph’s Catholic College Katherine in the NT and she is currently principal at St Joseph’s Parish School Hillston in western NSW. “Catholic education allows every individual the opportunity to know what it is to be unique. It provides a place to grow, not only academically, but to experience what it is to be loved and graced.”
PRINICIPAL, DOMINIC COLLEGE GLENORCHY, TASMANIA – Every day I see children and young people in our school shaped by our Catholic values
just as I was shaped by the Sisters of Mercy, Dominican Sisters and the Marist Brothers. As Catholic Education celebrates 200 years, Dominic College is marking 75 years of outstanding education by the Salesians of Don Bosco here in Hobart. They began with 26 students and now educate over 1,000 students in the College. A rich story of humble service.
PRINCIPAL, ST ANDREWS COLLEGE MARAYONG, NEW SOUTH WALES – I have been teaching for 31 years. I moved towards teaching rather than my other passion, law, due to the wonderful teachers I had at school and the impact I saw that they had on myself and many of my friends. I was educated at St Paul The Apostle Primary in Winston Hills and Parramatta Marist Brothers as well. I focus my energy on the development of a shared vision with teaching staff to support our student body to do more and go beyond.
MIDDLE SCHOOL HUMANITIES COORDINATOR ST FRANCIS XAVIER COLLEGE FLOREY, ARCHDIOCESE OF CANBERRA & GOULBURN – I’ve spent most of my life involved in the community that is Catholic Education. A sense of love, connection and community was a powerful part of my upbringing and I truly believe that it is this relational focus and pastoral care that is at the centre of what we do in Catholic schools and why I have always wanted to teach in a Catholic school.
NATIONAL CATHOLIC EDUCATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – Catholic schools have served Australian families for over 200 years. As we build on the rich legacy of those that came before us, we have faith in the future of Catholic education and our shared mission to both educate and enliven the faith lives of future generations of children and young people.
TEACHER, MACKILLOP CATHOLIC COLLEGE WARNERVALE, DIOCESE OF BROKEN BAY– Erin was certified as Highly Accomplished Lead Teacher in 2020. “When I decided to become a teacher, I selected Australian Catholic University because of the positive experiences I had in Catholic Schools as a student. I found the entire process of gaining the accreditation to be so valuable in how it required me to examine what I do as a teacher and reflect on my impact.”
Riley Wakely Young
YEAR 3 STUDENT, STAR OF THE SEA SCHOOL HENLEY SOUTH AUSTRALIA – I have really enjoyed being a part of celebrating 200 years of Catholic education.
I love the song ‘Faith in the Future’ and I like singing it with my friends at school and at home for my family. It is wonderful to be a valued member of my Catholic school community that has been a part of Catholic education in South Australia for over 100 years. We constantly look for ways we can put our faith into action and live our core school values of respect, inclusivity, compassion, collaboration, and honesty. I look forward to growing my faith as I continue my Catholic school journey.
TEXTHELP ASIAPACIFIC HEAD OF EDUCATION – Over the last 15 years I’ve experienced
first hand the sense of community and
devotion that’s been rooted within
Catholic education in Australia for
the last 200 years. Both in my role as
an assistive technology consultant
and now here at Texthelp. That’s why
I’m delighted to be able to join the
bicentenary celebrations to mark the
legacy of Catholic schools. Including
their commitment to inclusive education
and their unwavering belief in all
students. From the Northern Territory to
Tasmania, from far North Queensland
down to Victoria, my connection with
Catholic educators continues to enrich
me both professionally and personally.
YEAR 8, St PATRICK’S COLLEGE, LAUNCESTON TASMANIA – Catholic education has impacted my life in many positive ways. The things I have learned, and the experiences I have learned from, have allowed me to become a kind and compassionate human, develop my own understanding of Catholicism, and expand my overall cultural understanding of the world. I hope students continue to be exposed to the fact that the basis of almost all religions is being a good person and doing good for others, and that they should strive to do this their whole life.
CHAIR DOMINICAN EDUCATION AUSTRALIA – In 2021, the bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia, DEA has chosen as its theme for the year ‘A Rich Inheritance’. In addition to acknowledging the work of those who have come before, this theme encourages DEA to look ahead to Catholic education for future generations of students in a world that, because of its incremental rapid change, presents new visioning for Catholic school communities. How we name and face those challenges and continue to build on and strengthen the mission of Catholic and Dominican education lies before us in DEA.
TEACHER, GENAZZANO FCJ COLLEGE KEW, ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE VICTORIA – Over fifty years ago I went to Genazzano in Kew, I had wonderful teachers both professed and lay, and over the course of my 12 years I learnt to love the school, love the sisters and what they represented. I got this sense of joy about being a Catholic. I wanted to work in the Catholic sector because that is where my heart is. I applied and got the job at Genazzano in 2008 and have been happy ever since, because I feel like I am giving back to the school that gave so much me.