Principal feels at home in new role

Saint Mary MacKillop Catholic Primary School, Bannockburn's new principal Anthony Drill with Parish Priest Father Charles BalnavesA Geelong local will enjoy a shorter commute to work next year after landing the role as the founding principal at Saint Mary MacKillop Catholic Primary School.

Father Charles Balnaves announced that Queen of Peace Altona Meadows principal Anthony Drill will be making the move to Bannockburn’s first Catholic school.

‘Anthony is an experienced principal who has led several schools. He showed a real enthusiasm for the challenge of building a new school and learning community in such a short time frame,’ Fr Balnaves said.

‘But most importantly, Anthony demonstrated to us that he has a love for the children he educates, for the staff he leads and a real love for nurturing the community, including the families of our students and those around them.

‘So that showed us that he has a very strong link to our beliefs as a parish.’ Mr Drill has 13 years’ experience as a principal and 14 years as a deputy principal. He said he was hoping to bring a little of St Mary MacKillop to Bannockburn by in- stilling the values of Mary — love, hope and compassion — into the school ethos.

‘I hope to create a school that has a genuine sense of welcome to all in the community and will serve the Catholic community of the parish and delivers a contemporary education that strives to deliver excellent outcomes for all of the children,’ he said.

Mr Drill said he was looking forward to meeting the pupils and their families and building the school to become an integral part of Bannockburn and surrounding area.

The school will open on the former state school site in January, following some renovations, including a new entrance where families are encouraged to gather at drop off and pick up.

Fr Balnaves said the creation of a new school provided a unique opportunity for the school community and local families to be involved in the planning process, every step of the way.

‘We are working on a master plan for the short, medium and longer term improvement of the facilities and the site,’ he said.

This article was originally published in the Geelong Advertiser on 4 September 2017.