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    New Catholic Schools in 2015

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    St Clare's Catholic School, Truganina South, official opening

    Years of planning, preparation and anticipation became a sweet-sounding reality as students arrived at four brand new Catholic schools in 2015. It was hard to tell who wore the bigger smiles, the children or their parents, as primary schools in Truganina South, Tarneit West, Doreen and Officer welcomed their foundational families. 

    Executive Director of Catholic Education, Mr Stephen Elder, said that opening four new schools says a lot about what Catholic schools have to offer.

    ‘It’s clear that new and expanding communities in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and in regional areas expect that a Catholic school is part of their neighbourhood,’ Mr Elder said. ‘That demand and record enrolment numbers right across the state are a great vote of confidence in our holistic, values based approach to education.’

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    St John the Apostle Catholic Primary School, Tarneit West

    In Victoria in 2015 there were 491 Catholic primary and secondary schools in operation, with total enrolments beyond 210,000.

    New schools in 2015:

    • St Clare’s Catholic School, Truganina South
    • St Paul the Apostle, Doreen
    • St John the Apostle Catholic Primary School, Tarneit West
    • St Clare’s, Officer.

    Avila College Golden Jubilee Eucharist

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    Avila College's Golden Jubilee

    On Sunday 8 February, the Avila College community gathered at St Patrick's Cathedral for a special Eucharist to celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of the college.

    A few days prior to the Eucharist, Bishop Edwards visited the college for a day and met with both staff and students. Bishop Edwards toured the college and visited students in their classrooms. He noted that the students were fortunate to be at Avila College during the Golden Jubilee year of the college.

    The Eucharist was a wonderful celebration of the many blessings bestowed upon the Avila community, both in the past and in the present. The readings, prayers and homily inspired the congregation to give thanks and the music soared to the heights of the Cathedral. It was commented by many that the Avila students sang like a choir of angels.

    Catholic Education Week

    2015 Mass of St Patrick for Schools

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    Archbishop Denis Hart with students
    from St Aloysius School in Queenscliff

    The joy and excitement of Catholic Education Week was, once again, a brilliant illustration of the many learning opportunities provided by Catholic schools.

    Students were able to come together in the country’s biggest celebration of Catholic education, to realise that they are part of something bigger than their individual schools. The amazing talents on display at the Visual Arts Exhibition and the Concert in the Park motivated so many, while the Mass of St Patrick for Schools was a wonderful example of our Catholic identity.

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    Concert in the Park celebrations

    The banner parade represented more than 300 schools and was led by those celebrating significant milestones in 2015:

    • 150 Years
      St Peter's School, Bentleigh East
    • 125 Years 
      St Bernard’s School, Bacchus Marsh
    • 100 Years
      Sacred Heart School, Preston
    • 50 Years  
      St Louis de Montfort’s School, Aspendale 
      Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bayswater
      St Philip’s School, Blackburn North
      Annunciation School, Brooklyn
      Mercy College, Coburg
      Holy Child School, Dallas
      St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully
      Avila College, Mount Waverley
      Christ the King School, Newcomb
    •  First Year  
      St Clare’s Catholic School, Truganina South
      St John the Apostle Catholic Primary School, Tarneit
      St Paul the Apostle, Doreen.

    Concert in the Park at Treasury Gardens

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    The Aquinas College, Ringwood, rock band

    The sights and sounds of the Concert in the Park at Treasury Gardens is something students look forward to each year and, as always, the music was outstanding. 

    Performers on the day were: 

    • the Aquinas College, Ringwood, rock band and jazz band
    • the Mater Christi College, Belgrave, concert band
    • Celine Torres, MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Werribee.

    The games and fun activities, organised by Penola Catholic College, Broadmeadows, were also in high demand.

    Young Speakers Colloquium

    The Young Speakers Colloquium at the Catholic Leadership Centre provided secondary students with a unique opportunity to listen and learn from former and current students who have made an immediate mark on society.

    Former student of Star of the Sea College, Brighton, Sophie Rudolph – now completing a PhD in Education – spoke of her work researching and campaigning for improved Indigenous education, while William Wright, current student at De La Salle College, Malvern, detailed his involvement in the performing arts gala spectacular, Time to Shine.

    Overall, to see Catholic students expressing themselves in such delightful ways is a great reminder of why the work of school teachers and leaders is so important. The week was a terrific success, thanks to the commitment and hard work of staff at Catholic Education Melbourne.

    Anzac Day

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    Anzac Celebrations at Aquinas College, Ringwood

    Thousands of Catholic students across the Archdiocese of Melbourne celebrated the Anzac centenary through their studies and special services commemorating the historic landing at Anzac Cove. A number of stories of schools celebrating the occasion can be read at:

    Graduation celebrations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

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    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students
    from Catholic schools across Victoria

    On 16 October 2015, 74 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 students from Catholic schools across Victoria attended a graduation dinner at the Catholic Leadership Centre to acknowledge and celebrate the completion of their successful educational journey – and the beginning of their cultural rite of passage into the next phase of their lives.

    The evening commenced with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Colin Hunter, Wurundjeri Elder, followed by a response from Dr Paul Sharkey, Director of Catholic Education Services, Catholic Education Melbourne, and Mr Lionel Bamblett from the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc.

    The night was well attended by family and friends, as well as Catholic education and school staff. Each student was presented with a personalised, Wathaurong glass plaque and a certificate. As the gifts were presented, there was an opportunity for parents, guardians and teachers to speak about their child or student, and their accomplishments.

    World Teachers Day

    This message was sent to teachers on 30 October 2015 in celebration of World Teachers' Day.

    Launch of the Social Justice Statement for Refugees

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    The launch of the Social Justice Statement

    A number of Catholic primary and secondary schools gathered in Melbourne on Tuesday 15 September on the Harbourside Esplanade at Docklands where the launch of the Social Justice Statement of the Australian Catholic Bishops, For Those Who’ve Come across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers was celebrated.

    Some were ‘banished’ to a small grassy ‘island’ in an attempt to imagine the plight of those refugees in detention. Students and staff listened to scripture readings, were addressed by Bishop Vincent Long, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, joined in prayer and, following Pope Francis at Lampedusa, laid a wreath upon the water in memory of those who had perished in search of peace and safety.

     

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