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www.mnnews.today/aurora-magazine Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
DIOCESE ANNOUNCES MAJOR
DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION
This July, I had the privilege of being able
to share with our valued staff, clergy,
students and caregivers, news regarding
one of the single biggest developments
to Catholic education in the Diocese of
Maitland-Newcastle’s history. The diocese
will build a new high school at Chisholm
and another at Medowie, scheduled to
open in 2018 and 2020 respectively. St
Mar y’s High School at Gateshead and St
Joseph’s High School at Lochinvar will also
grow from offering Years 7-10 to Years
7-12 from 2018.
The new schools will become the first
secondary schools to be built in the
diocese in over 30 years.
These announcements were warmly
welcomed by the community, in par ticular,
families and Members of Parliament
from the Por t Stephens, Medowie and
Thornton areas. Many of our staff were
also excited about the news and the
creation of even more teaching jobs in
the region, professional development
oppor tunities and the prospec t of
teaching more year groups and the HSC.
It was truly encouraging to see how
enthusiastic and motivated our teaching
staff were about these announcements.
This is an exciting time for the education
sector in the Hunter, Manning, Newcastle
and Lake Macquarie regions. Af ter more
than 180 years of providing Catholic
education in this region, the system
currently employs more than 2,000 staff,
educating over 18,600 students across
45 Catholic primar y and 11 Catholic
secondar y schools. Soon, these numbers
will grow even more, and we are pleased
to be able to accommodate fur ther the
demand for more Catholic education in
What’s more exciting is that these
announcements are only four of a total
of 12 recommendations to come out of a
study, commissioned by Bishop Bill Wright,
into the Provision of Secondar y Education
in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
(see page 23). The aim of the study, which
began in 2013, was to ensure the diocese
would be able to meet the future needs
of students in Catholic secondar y schools.
All 12 recommendations are significant
and present new, positive oppor tunities
for Catholic education in the diocese. The
future of Catholic education is indeed
bright and, with a constantly changing
educational landscape, we are always
looking at ways to embrace contemporary
approaches to teaching and learning to
ensure that our students are well placed
to make an active, life-giving contribution
to a changing world.
One of the recommendations that came
out of the study which reflects this aim
is to develop greater equity of access
to curriculum for secondar y students.
Through the utilisation of contemporary
technologies and learning options, our
hope is that all students, regardless
of geographical location, will have the
oppor tunity to engage in courses that
provide breadth and depth. This is
par ticularly impor tant for our regional
schools and we are already having huge
success implementing such strategies.
For example, we are already using
technology provided to schools, such as
video conferencing facilities, to enable
Music 2 to be taught from St Francis
Xavier’s College Hamilton, to students
in Aberdeen and Taree studying for their
HSC. The review recommends more of
that and this is just one example of how
we are utilising technology to better the
educational outcomes and interests
Our Catholic schools are committed
to providing a secondar y education for
students that is marked by academic
rigour and success. We are committed to
providing students with ever y oppor tunity
to improve their learning such that they
can maximise their post-school choices.
It is our hope that the recommendations
will help to ensure this.
The recommendations reflec t the
confidence that our community has in our
system of schools. I think it’s a positive
step that the diocese is embracing the
oppor tunity to respond to change and
significant enrolment pressure with
innovation and creativity. Bishop Bill, who
has a strong passion for education, has
endorsed the recommendations.
I encourage you to become familiar with
the recommendations and remind all
those in the community that Catholic
schools are an inclusive, affordable option,
open to all. We are looking for ward to
growing the future of Catholic education
in our region and I invite you to be part of
our exciting future.
Ray Collins is Director of Schools,
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
View all recommendations on page 23.
Please visit mn.catholic.edu.au/study.
Natalie Easey, mother of St Aloysius Catholic
Primary School Year 4 student, Charlotte Easey.
Charlotte hopes to be enrolled in the new
Catholic High School at Chisholm for 2018.
" We are very excited to hear that the high
school will be opening in 2018. Ou r eldest child,
Charlotte, will be commencing Year 7 and it's
wonderful that we are able to follow on from a
brand new primary school to a brand new high
school. Exciting times are ahead!"
Larry Keating, Principal of St Mary's High School,
Gateshead. St Mary’s will transition to Years 7-12
"The decision to transition St Mary's to Years 11 and 12
in 2018-19 is wonderful news because it represents
the realisation of a much longed-for continuum of
Catholic education from K–12 by Catholic families in
the region of East Lake Macquarie. It also honours the
legacy of the Sisters of St Joseph and all who laboured
tirelessly with them to lay the foundations for the
splendid Catholic school we have today."
Rachael Connor, mother of St Michael's Nelson
Bay Year 2 student, Reagan Connor. Reagan
hopes to be enrolled in the first Year 7 class at
Medowie Catholic School in 2020.
" We were thrilled and relieved with the
announce ment of the new secondary school
at Medowie. It meant the decision of what high
school Reagan would attend was made. We now
know that the transition into high school will be
smooth, and he is much closer to home."
Andrew Klasen, Year 8 student at St Joseph's
Lochinvar. Andrew plans to study Year 11 and his
HSC at St Joseph's from 2018.
“ I am excited about not having to move schools as
I already have a good group of friends and I know
the school well. I also like the teachers I have and
enjoy the atmosphere of learning at St Joseph’s.
WHAT THE COMMUNITY THINKS
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