Special message from Acting Principal, Mr Stephen Hill

February 25, 2020

Please read the following letter by St Patrick’s College Acting Principal, Mr Stephen Hill, released today, to members of the SPC community:  

To the community of St Patrick’s College,

The reality, consequences and emotions of John Crowley’s decision to accept EREA’s invitation to take up the position of Acting Principal of St Kevin’s College for the remainder of 2020 confronts each of us as members of the St Patrick’s College community. With that in mind I ask you read and consider this letter from Wayne Tinsey, Executive Director Edmund Rice Education Australia.

 In extending his deepest gratitude to our community for our understanding and generosity in supporting John Crowley, there is also a genuine acceptance that this has caused concern, confusion and created great challenges for us here at St Patrick’s.

 In apologising unreservedly for this situation, Wayne is also committed to supporting us through this difficult time.

 This has already commenced and will continue tomorrow when Adam Taylor, National Director School Engagement, and Diarmuid O’Riordan, Regional Director, will be present throughout the day to work with the College Leadership Team and to meet staff.

 This will be the first of what will become a regular commitment to be present to the St Patrick’s College community. As Wayne notes in his letter, he too will be visiting the College in the coming days.

 In closing, I want to reiterate what I wrote in last week’s Crest.

 We can draw great strength and confidence from the consequences of John’s work – that the safety and wellbeing of each boy is at the very centre of all the we do here at St Patrick’s. This is our binding commitment to the boys, their families and all in our community.

 The College spent a significant amount of time in 2018 in the development of the 2019-2021 Strategic Directions document. This document has become the blueprint for our teaching and learning, faith, life and culture, wellbeing and master plan development. The College Board, the Leadership Team and each member of school’s staff is dedicated to the implementation and delivery of the goals stated in this document.

Our teaching and classroom support staff have committed themselves fully to a sustained program of professional learning and growth, focused most particularly on boys, education. Our goal is clear – to become the leaders in the education of boys.

Finally, our commitment to be a school that is an active and giving member of the Ballarat community, with particular focus on our Old Collegians, will remain as strong and purposeful in the future as it has been in John Crowley’s time.

The boys remain the most important people in all of this. So, what does a change in the College’s leadership mean for the boys? It means a continued commitment to their safety and wellbeing, to the plan for growth and renewal of all aspects of the school, to St Patrick’s as a leader in the education of boys and continuing to be a place of welcome to the whole community of our great College.


Regards, Stephen