2014 Catholic Education Week
Theme: Entrust yourselves to God and dare to dream
The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, celebrated this year’s Mass of St Patrick for Schools held on Thursday 20 March. The Mass was attended by more than 2,000 students from 329 Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Led by Celtic Irish Pipers, each school proudly carried their banner in a procession through the cathedral at the start of the Mass. At the front were 10 schools celebrating a significant anniversary in 2014:
150 YearsOur Lady of Mount Carmel School, Sunbury
125 YearsGenazzano FCJ College, KewSacred Heart College, KynetonSacred Heart School, Kew
75 YearsHoly Name School, Preston East
50 YearsSt Joseph’s Primary School, BoroniaMount St Joseph Girls’ College, AltonaSt Thomas More’s School, HadfieldSt Monica’s College, Epping
First YearSt Mary of the Cross, Point Cook
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The Concert in the Park was a high-spirited occasion for Catholic school students to share a picnic lunch and be entertained by musical bands and fellow students from Catholic schools. The concert followed the traditional Mass, with students and teachers ‘marching’ down to Treasury Gardens from St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The talents of four Catholic school student bands had the audience dancing up a storm. The bands were:
Penola Catholic College, Broadmeadows, was also a hit in organising tabloid sports activities during the two-hour concert.
The Young Speakers Colloquium gave Year 10 students an opportunity to hear two inspiring Victorians share their life story and their personal vision for the future. Though their stories were vastly different, both told of unforeseen challenges and opportunities that had led them to unexpected rewards.
Brooke Parsons is a former student from MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Werribee. Her life was irrevocably altered when she had a stroke at just 13. With much humility, she described how difficult it had been to adapt to her disabilities after her stroke, not only for herself but also for her family, friends and teachers. She had to learn to walk, talk and function again. With determination and the support of her family and school, Brooke completed her VCE and went on to train as a social worker.
She co-founded the Young Victorian Stroke Support Group and became an Ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation. In 2001, she was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year for her service to the community. Yet it is her everyday life working with children and being a proud aunt that Brooke that she counts as her greatest joy. She talked of the connection and empathy she felt with children facing major challenges, bringing several to tears as she recalled heartfelt moments as an integration aid at Thomas Carr College in Tarneit, and now through her work at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Collingwood football player Nick Maxwell is a former student of St Joseph’s College in Newtown. His talk focused on the importance of commitment, determination and having personal goals. He recalled how Collingwood ‘saw something in me’ when they selected him in the 2003 Rookie Draft, and his gratitude to the club for giving him the space he needed to develop his leadership skills. Nick is now considered one of the most respected and distinguished players in the AFL. Since his debut in 2004, he has played 198 senior games, served as Collingwood captain for five years, and played a significant part in Collingwood’s 2010 Premiership win.
Nick revealed he had very different personas on and off the football field. Known for his grit and courage on the field, he said off-field he was quieter and more introspective. His vision these days is to focus more on his family and support his wife in her fashion design pursuits. ‘She supported me for the last 10 years, and now it’s her turn to shine,’ he said. Nick also supports several charities associated with animal welfare and children.
The 2014 Visual Arts Exhibition, held at the Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne, was an outstanding success with hundreds of people visiting the venue to enjoy nearly 300 pieces of artwork on show. The depth and diversity of student works, from Prep through to Year 12, was exceptional and made it very difficult for the judging panel to select the 16 prize winners.
The 2014 winning artwork was:
Primary school winners:
Secondary school winners:
More than 100 Catholic school leaders and representatives from the Melbourne and Sale Catholic Education Offices, and the University of Melbourne, gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre to celebrate professional leadership and learning achievements in Catholic schools.
The event involved two ceremonies:
Archdiocese of Melbourne
Diocese of Sale
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