Acting Principal’s Message

March 20, 2020

By Acting Principal, Mr Stephen Hill

“The world and everything in it is continually changing which proves to us that there is nothing permanent under the sun, and that perfect happiness is not to be expected but in another world!”

Edmund Rice to Mother Mary Knowd, Presentation Convent, Dublin. All Souls’ Day 1813

While these words of Blessed Edmund are over 200 years old, their intent has perhaps never been truer than in recent weeks. As all in the community come to understand the reality of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its growing impact on virtually every aspect of our lives, members of the St Patrick’s community should draw great comfort from the work that has done by all members of the College staff in recent days to ensure that the safety, health, wellbeing and ongoing learning of our boys.

This edition of the Crest will include a number of updates relating to the many ways in which the College is responding to issues arising from COVID-19, adding to the expansive communication you have received throughout the week, and I ask that you read and consider each carefully.

I particularly like to acknowledge and thank all St Patrick’s College staff – teaching, classroom support, administration, student services, the IT Hub, grounds and maintenance, finance, boarding and cleaning – for their sustained efforts and excellence in all they have done in recent times.

In speaking with a number of the boys over the past few days, it is clear that the majority feel that their learning continues to be furthered and their SPC experience remains hope-filled and joyous despite the challenges of responding to so many issues in a time of great uncertainty. The boys’ overall sense of calm reflects the work that all St Patrick’s College have done and may be the best measure as to the success of their combined efforts. On behalf of the SPC community, I wish to congratulate the staff on all their efforts!

Process and timeline for the appointment of the next Principal of St Patrick’s College

As previously advised, Mr Diarmuid O’Riordan, EREA Regional Director – Southern, last week provided the following indicative dates for the filling the position of Principal at St Patrick’s College:

  • Week 8 of Term 1 – letters to be distributed to staff and parents as part of the community consultation process inviting them to provide insight and feedback re the appointment of the next Principal.
  • Monday, March 16 – EREA and online advertising of the role
  • Wednesday, March 25 – Diarmuid O’Riordan to facilitate a community consultation forum at the College which will be an opportunity for staff members, as individuals and groups, to engage in further discussion and feedback re the appointment of the next Principal.
  • March 21 and March 28 – Paper advertisement of the role
  • Monday, April 6 – Applications close
  • Week of Tuesday, April 14 – Shortlisting
  • Week of Monday, April 20 – First interviewing
  • Week of Monday, April 27 – Second interviewing
  • Week of Monday, May 4 – Announcement

Members of the interview panel will include:

  • Chair (from EREA)
  • EREA National Director Nominee
  • EREA Peer Principal
  • Ballarat CEO Representative
  • St Patrick’s College Board Chair
  • St Patrick’s College Board Member

I encourage all parents to be a part of this process by replying to recently sent email seeking responses to the questions around the vision, personal and professional qualities you would like to see in the next Principal of St Patrick’s College.

College Board update

Mrs Jane Charles has taken leave of absence as the St Patrick’s College Board Chair for the remainder of 2020. Mr Peter Wilson has kindly agreed to take on the role as College Board Chair.

Appointment of the new Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA)

Following a careful process of discernment, EREA recently announce that Dr Craig Wattam, current Principal of St Patrick’s College Strathfield, has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia by the EREA Board with the agreement of the EREA Council. Craig will commence in the role at the start of 2021 and we wish him well in his leadership of EREA.