Headmaster’s End of Year Message

December 14, 2017

As the 2017 school year draws to a close I write to confirm some important information for your consideration.


This year we farewell a number of staff members, many of whom are retiring, who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the College over many years. I particularly wish to acknowledge Mr Juri Kaczkowski who has given 40 years of dedicated service to St Patrick’s College. On behalf of the entire community we thank Juri for his lifelong commitment to Catholic education and wish him all the best for the future after teaching.- –

We also acknowledge the following members of staff who are leaving and thank each of them for their service to the College:

Keenan Waterbury – 1 year

Melanie Buckingham – 1 year

Clare Condon – 2 years

Marian Haddrick – 2 years

John Finch – 5 years

Michael Toohey – 5 years

Rick Balchin – 6 years

Greg Shawcross – 7 years

Kara Hart – 10 years

Pam Delahunty – 12 years (retiring)

Helen McLennan – 12 years (retiring)

Nikki Hexter – 16 years

Contract positions ending 2017:

Caitlin Herington

Andrew Oddie

Mitch Kennedy

Chris Barbetti

Joe Graffeo

I am pleased to advise of the following appointments to the College staff in 2018:

Maya Watters Funded Students Facilitator-

Jared Lyn Subject Teacher -“ VCD-

Monique Allen Subject Teacher -“ Drama

Steven Biggin Subject Teacher -“ Maths-

Ryan Bullock Housemaster

Melissa Binnie Subject Teacher-

Mitch Tuddenham HaPE Trainee

Tiernan Somers Mission Trainee-

Stephanie Carswell Subject Teacher -“ English as a Second Language

Jacinta Reidy Subject Teacher -“ Science-

Michaela Holroyd Subject Teacher -“ Science- –

Bridie Laffey Subject Teacher -“ English/RE

Connor Bourke Subject Teacher – Junior School-

Boarding Facility Update

I am thrilled to report that Stage 1 of the new boarding precinct will be ready for opening at the beginning of the 2018 school year.- With a few enrolments still currently being finalised, we will see 60 students enrolled in the new boarding facility. This is a fantastic result with the excellent program we offer now being matched with equally impressive facilities. I would like to acknowledge and the incredible efforts of our builders, Resicare, for working tirelessly to ensure we meet the strictest of deadlines, and to Andrew Ballesty, our College Business Manager, Mike Silcock, our Director of Boarding and our dedicated Development Team for ensuring our numbers in boarding continue to grow. It has been a team effort and we are grateful.-

Important Calendar Dates for 2018

Shortly, the St Patrick’s College calendar will arrive home to families. I would ask you to note a few important changes to our current arrangements. With new enterprise agreement between the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) and the Independent Education Union (IEU) being finalised throughout 2018, an interim MOU has been established which allows for each member of staff to access some additional days of Professional Development throughout the year. This is to bring into line those conditions currently in place in the state education system. We have carefully thought about how we best realise these new arrangements in line with our strategic directions and have agreed to two additional curriculum planning days for the whole staff on the first day of Terms 2 and 3. Both of these days will be pupil free days. These two days will become an essential part of ensuring we continue to maintain the strongest possible focus on curriculum development and planning.-

Strategic Plan Update

I am pleased to report to the community that a great deal of work has been carried out over the past three months with regards the development of our new strategic plan (2018-2020). As part of this important initiative, I have had the great privilege of interviewing 100 students from Years 7-11 as well as listening to the feedback from the staff and our parent community. We are now at the stage of refining our focus to identifying three strategic goals in the areas of Community, Learning and Teaching, Students, Staff and Facilities and Resources. I would like to thank the parents who have responded to the survey sent out recently.-

Enrichment Leave Term 1, 2018

Throughout Term 1, 2018, I will be taking some Enrichment Leave which will see me travel overseas for much of this time. In my absence, Mr Stephen Hill has been appointed as Headmaster of the College. We wish Stephen well. In addition, Mrs Julia Petrov has been appointed to the role of acting Deputy Headmaster, Learning and Teaching for Term 1.

I look forward to hearing all of the news form Term 1 upon my return!-

Finally, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas. I hope the break is a time of great joy and renewal for all members of our special community.

In the words of Pope Francis, throughout the time of Advent:

-we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don’t imagine.-

Yours Sincerely

John Crowley