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Keeping hope vibrant: leaders gather to celebrate Catholic Education Week

11 June, 2019

Over 150 members of the Catholic education community in the Sale Diocese gathered for a lively celebration on Friday 24 May to mark the commencement of Catholic Education Week.

The festivities began with a special Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Sale, Bishop Patrick O’Regan, at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Traralgon. The Bishop’s message to the gathering was that leadership isn’t a passive position, rather, it is where people are of one heart and soul, acting as prophets for a future that’s not our own.

“The Gospel tonight reminds us that we are to hear the word of God and put it into practice. For Jesus, these two verbs go together. Hearing and Doing. Wisdom. God’s Wisdom alone can show us the way,” he said.

During the Mass, 18 staff members were commissioned into principalship and religious education leadership roles.

Members of the board of Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Ltd, executive staff from the Catholic Education Office, school leadership teams, parish priests and alumni gathered after the Mass for dinner and an award ceremony.

Ms Maria Kirkwood, Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale congratulated the 12 award winners.

“The staff and students recognised at this year’s awards reflect the aspirations of our Catholic communities to live our faith in service to others and to spread the Christian message of hope in the world. We are very proud of their commitment, achievements, and service,” she said.

The awards presented on the night included:

Elizabeth Hunt Scholarship
Recent graduate of St Peter’s College in Cranbourne, Emma Pocock, was awarded The Elizabeth Hunt Scholarship in recognition of her dedication to her studies and commitment to her faith. Ms Pocock will receive a scholarship of $1,500 per year for the four years of her teaching degree at Australian Catholic University.

Ms Pocock said that she’s eager to embark on her next learning journey and is thankful for the guidance and support she has received from St Peter’s College and Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Ltd (DOSCEL).

“I feel deeply honoured to have received the Elizabeth Hunt Scholarship. It will open many opportunities for me to continue to witness my faith and contribute to Catholic education through the profession of teaching” she said.

Father James Wall Bursary
A student from Catholic College Sale was among seven recipients from around Australia of the Father James Wall Bursary Leadership Achievement Award.

Ms Hannah Walsh received the award in the form of a $4,000 bursary from the Catholic Development Fund to assist with school fees and other expenses while she completes her VCE over the next two years.

The Principal of Catholic College Sale, Mr Chris Randell, said it’s wonderful to see students being rewarded for their hard work.

“The Catholic College Sale community is very proud of Hannah for receiving the Father James Wall Bursary.

“Hannah is a valued member of our college community and leads by example in the very positive way she involves herself in all aspects of school life. Hannah has a great sense of social justice and demonstrates compassion towards others. She is thoughtful and inclusive of all around her both at the college and within the community. We wish Hannah all the best in her future aspirations,” he said.

Service Awards
Service Awards are presented to staff members who have provided at least 25 years of service to Catholic Education in Australia.

• Christina Miller and Susan Munro - St Francis Xavier College, Beaconsfield
• Stephanie Veness and Neville Powles - Nagle College, Bairnsdale,
• Michelle Hinds - St Agatha’s Primary School, Cranbourne
• Andrew Butler - St Clare’s Primary School, Officer

Spirit of Catholic Education Awards
The teachers recognised for their commitment to providing students with a faith-filled education were;

• John Fazzino from St Francis Xavier College, Beaconsfield who received a Spirit of Catholic Education award for Inspiring Faith within his school community, and
• Michael Beecham from Marist-Sion College in Warragul, who received the accolade for Inspiring Learning.
Daniel Ahern Bursary
The Daniel Ahern Bursary award, which provides financial support for non-teaching staff training to become qualified educators, was presented to ;
• Mandy Bialy from St Kieran’s Primary School in Moe, and
• Pina Marciano from St Peter’s College in Cranbourne.

Both recipients will complete their studies by 2020.

Ms Kirkwood concluded the evening by thanking everyone for their dedication and faithful service.

“Our annual Leadership Eucharist and Dinner is a highlight of the school year, and a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a community and celebrate our faith.

“I look forward to working with you to enable our Catholic school communities to flourish, and supporting you and each of our students to reach their full potential,” she said.