Come and visit a Catholic school


I AM coming up to my five-month anniversary as Director of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese. It is very much early days for me in my leadership in the Archdiocese. I look forward to the opportunity to share my journey in Catholic education in Canberra and Goulburn in this column every few months.

A source of great joy and learning in my first term in the Archdiocese were my visits to many of our Catholic schools.

The progress of our students and the dedicated work of our teachers was evident in all the schools I visited.

From my visits I know that learning is well under way! In particular, I was impressed to see the progress our kindergarten students have already made in their lifelong learning journey demonstrating great progress on reading, writing and numeracy in just their first 10 weeks of the school year.

I hope that Easter and the term break were restful and a chance to reconnect with the amazing Easter story and the foundation of the Christian message. As well as catch up with family and friends, possibly with a few Easter eggs.

Pope Francis’ Lenten Message drew on the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It was a reminder to us that everyone is a gift, no matter their backgrounds and circumstances.

This message particularly resonates for Catholic schools. Catholic schools strive to be communities of hope centred on the understanding that every human being has an innate dignity.

Every person, whether a student, a family member, a staff member or the wider school community are all gifts to be cherished.

As May arrives, Catholic Schools in the ACT begin Catholic Schools Week – running from May 1 to 7. NSW Catholic schools week has already passed.

Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the innovative learning and faith development that occurs in Catholic schools every day. The theme of Catholic Schools Week in 2017 is Inspiring Spirits and Minds.

The Catholic Education feature in this issue of Catholic Voice includes an invitation to visit a Catholic school in the Archdiocese during Catholic Schools Week. This is a chance for everyone, not just current parents and families, to witness the vibrant faith and learning environments available today in Catholic Schools and Early Learning Centres.

Research on how parents choose schools across Australia tells us that word of mouth remains the most important source of information for parents considering which school best meets the needs of their child.

Choosing a school is an important decision. Fortunately, the ACT is endowed with many great schools whether Catholic, government or independent.

If you have not visited a Catholic school in a while I encourage you to do so and see what a contemporary Catholic education has to offer. I would also ask you to share your story of Catholic education with prospective Catholic school parents and invite them to visit a Catholic school during ACT Catholic Schools Week.

Many things have changed in education in recent years and decades but many things remain the same.

We have dedicated teachers and staff, children filled with curiosity and brimming with potential and Catholic schools that are great, supportive and inclusive community with a focus on learning.

Please let me know what you think. I can be contacted by email on

I hope to see you in Catholic Schools Week and look forward to sharing my story through this column in the years ahead.