Headmaster’s Message – May 26, 2017

May 25, 2017

Dear Parents, Carers, Friends and Students of St Patrick’s College,

Last Friday, I had the great pleasure of recognising the contributions of four members of staff who have given 30 years of service to Catholic Education. This is a significant milestone which is worthy of special acknowledgement and celebration. Those staff members are: Mr Danny Moore, Mr Glenn Fisher, Mrs Kristine Smardon and Mrs Melissa Griffin. On behalf of the entire community of St Patrick’s College, we congratulate each staff member on their commitment to Catholic education and to the life of St Patrick’s College.

The 30-year Service Awards were presented at the annual Catholic Education Office Dinner. This dinner marks the commencement of Catholic Education Week. I have included in my address this week a message from the Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Ballarat, Audrey Brown, for your reading.

Last Saturday evening, the curtain went down on the final performance of West Side Story.- The standard achieved by the students of St Patrick’s and Loreto College was incredibly high. They deserve enormous credit for the dedication they have shown to this production. Of course, such an impressive performance would not be possible without the generous guidance of our Production Team. On behalf of St Patrick’s and Loreto College I would like to thank Mr Greg Shawcross, Mr Glenn Fisher, Mr Mitch Leviston, Ms Marian Haddrick, Mrs Penny Kaletsch, Mrs Lindy Crowe-Procaccino and Mr Ian Stowe. I would also like to thank Loreto College for generously donating the Mary’s Mount Centre for our Performance and to the Performing Arts Staff for supporting us throughout the week.

On Thursday evening, the annual Homeless Night was held. I am always impressed by the number of Year 10 students who support this important evening, gaining a first-hand appreciation of what it is like to be homeless. Developing awareness around an issue such as homelessness is often the first step in becoming a strong advocate for change. I would like to thank the many staff who assisted (very generously) with the supervision.

Have a great weekend

John Crowley


A letter from the Director of Catholic Education,- Ballarat, Ms Audrey Brown

-Across the Diocese of Ballarat this week, 64 schools educating 18,500 students are celebrating Catholic Education Week. The theme this year is Strive for the Greater Gifts (1 Corinthians 12: 31) based on St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which he goes on to attest that all that we do must be centred on faith, hope and (particularly) love. In essence, Catholic schools seek to provide education that is centred on love, which as St Paul reminds us, is patient, kind, honest, gentle and hope-filled; the sort of education that respects every student and stretches them towards constant growth; and the sort of education that says to every child and young pension, “you have value and worth and we expect great things for you”.

It is hard at the moment not to be caught up in the funding debate surrounding Catholic education and it can be easy to forget why we need to continue to put our case to the Australian Government. It is because in Catholic education we welcome and offer support to all families who desire an education in which we “strive for the greater gifts”. That is not something that we want to lose.

The current quantum of and flexibility around system funding in the Diocese of Ballarat allows us to provide fee alleviations for all students in primary schools who hold a Health Care Card and many other families who are experiencing financial strain. It allows us to provide timely support to a new student – even one with very high support needs – moving into a school after census day (the technical cut-off day for school funding). Flexible system funding enables our schools to ensure that every student has every opportunity every day to learn and to grow and to flourish. Such flexibility provides the “level playing field” that our society demands for every child and young person in Catholic education.

Catholic Education Week provides a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the contribution that our schools make to their local communities across our diocese. As communities of faith, hope and love, as education providers, as community hubs, as employers, as active community partners and in the service of parents who all want the best choice for their children, Catholic schools make a measurable contribution to our society. Education, centred on the Good News of Jesus, the love of the human person and hopefulness about the future, is how we “strive for the greater gifts” with our education dollar every day. That is something worth fighting for.

Wishing everyone a very happy Catholic Education Week!