The Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) aims to provide a place in a Catholic school for every Catholic student in the Archdiocese whose parents so choose. This requires long-term strategic planning for the establishment of new schools as well as monitoring the viability of existing schools. Through the Planning Unit, the CEOM provides advice on sustainability, demographics and planning for Catholic schools.
In 2013 there were 202,264 students enrolled in Victorian Catholic schools – an increase of 2.2% from the previous year – accounting for approximately 34% of Victoria’s enrolment growth. This growth was experienced at both primary and secondary levels over this period. The Archdiocese of Melbourne had 149,439 students enrolled in Catholic schools. Victorian enrolments represent a sector share of 22.4% for primary and 24.2% for secondary – a rise for both from 2012.
A significant amount of work was undertaken on an Archdiocesan-wide study in 2013, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics census data of 2011. Drafts of the study were prepared based on each region. An overarching report for the Archdiocese will be presented in 2014.
After extensive consultation, smaller studies and strategic plans for the Inner West and North West, Epping–Plenty, Melton and Sunbury were finalised and completed in 2013, setting clear directions for the delivery of future Catholic schools.
Within the next 30 years an additional 75 Catholic schools have been identified to meet the future enrolment demand within the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Strategic sites have been identified and have been geographically mapped on the Future Schools Maps. A Timing Schedule was prepared setting out a timeline for the delivery of the schools.
One primary school opened in the Archdiocese in 2013 – St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Catholic Parish Primary School, located in Epping North in the Epping Parish, with an enrolment of 62. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis J. Hart, officially blessed and opened the school, in the presence of dozens of parents and students. His Grace was joined by distinguished guests, including Mr Rob Mitchell MP, federal member for McEwen, parish priest, Father Maurie Cooney and the principal, Ms Geraldine Dalton.
The Archbishop of Melbourne officially opened the school with the principal, Ms Geraldine Dalton, Mr Rob Mitchell MP and Father Maurie Cooney
In 2013 preparations continued for the opening of more Catholic schools; one in 2014, St Mary of the Cross in Point Cook, and an additional three schools in 2015.
Tony HirstPrincipalEmmaus College, Vermont South
In 2013 Emmaus College won the Building Designers Association of Victoria Award for Best Conversion of a Public Building for the total refit of our school’s 22-year-old school hall into the Bill Holligan Performing Arts Centre, a modern 300-seat auditorium with a performance area, drama and dance room, and gallery.
Renovations were done in tandem with other significant building works to effectively create a completely new look and structure. We had a strict and limited budget to accommodate a range of ambitious improvements to the existing building, so planning was critical to make the best use of funds. We enjoyed terrific support from the Catholic Education Office Melbourne, the Archbishop’s Planning Building and Finance Committee, and the Catholic Development Fund. Credit goes to the architects and builders (EM Building and Design, and ADCO Constructions) for their innovative and high quality results with a very strict budget.
It is hard to believe the construction took just five months from start to finish, with minimal disruption to our classes, despite the site being right in the middle of the school grounds. The judges described the end result as being ‘dramatically different, innovative and modern’. Considering the cost and amount of work that goes into renovating an older building, especially of this size, most people can’t believe what we achieved for little more than $2 million, on time and on budget.
The entire school community has benefited from this fabulous new Performing Arts Centre. The conversion has realised a dream for the school because although we’ve always had an excellent reputation for our performing arts program, we’ve never had a dedicated space to showcase the talents of our students. The facility is now the proud centrepiece of our school community.
The CEOM’s Planning and Infrastructure Staff Group completed a series of workshops facilitated by Dr Loretta Giorcelli with the aim of developing a framework that would guide Catholic schools, communities and the CEOM in the area of integrating Catholic schools into community hubs more effectively.
In 2013 three parishes that will open new Catholic schools in 2015 continued the pilot project using the Community Planning for Catholic Schools Framework. A further two workshops were conducted to support the local steering committees to develop an educational brief document, begin the design phase of the school, and on marketing activities.
The Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Committee completed the development of the draft Sustainability Framework now available on the CEVN intranet for further consultation in 2014. In 2013 the ESD Committee also supported the Victorian Sustainability Awards. Several Catholic schools were nominated in these awards and St Macartan’s School, Mornington, won the ResourceSmart Community Leadership School of the Year primary school title as well as the ResourceSmart Student Action Team of the Year Award (sponsored by the CEOM).
St Macartan’s School, Mornington, won the ResourceSmart Student Action Team of the Year Award at the Victorian Sustainability Awards
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