Catholic Education Week

16-MAR-2017

It is Catholic Education Week. It is a week like no other, a chance to celebrate and commemorate more than a 150 years of service to the Victorian community by Catholic schools.

Over 3,000 students will descend on the city on Friday to be ‘moved by the love of Christ’ at the pinnacle of our celebrations, the Mass of St Patrick. The Mass is always a powerful celebration of our faith and a rare opportunity for the students, and all of us, to experience that sense of being part of a larger Catholic education community. I hope many of you and your students will also be able to participate in the Concert in the Treasury Gardens, always a joyous event full of the vitality and talent of our young people, or the Young Speakers Colloquium, a powerful experience for secondary students.

I would also urge you and your school to make the time to visit the Visual Arts Exhibition. This year’s exhibition is a wonderful showcase of the creativity and skill of students in Catholic schools. If you or your school community are unable to visit during the week, the exhibition will also be open on Saturday at the Catholic Leadership Centre from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

In your own celebrations at your school, I hope that this year’s theme offers students, their families and your teachers an opportunity to reflect on what ‘Moved by the Love of Christ’ means and how it can apply to our everyday lives, through reconciliation; responses to social justice issues such as Asylum Seekers and care for the aged; our work of service; the work of schools and, how students contribute in their families and communities. I hope you will be able to share your own events and activities with me so that Catholic Education Melbourne can showcase them on our website.

Forum with Matthew Guy and Nick Wakeling

On Thursday 2 March, around 30 principals and system leaders attended a forum hosted by Catholic Education Melbourne, with the Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy, and the Shadow Education Spokesperson, Nick Wakeling.

The forum was an opportunity for the Opposition to discuss some of the policies they are considering in the lead-up to the 2018 state election, and for school leaders to raise issues about education in our sector, and across the state more broadly. In a free-flowing discussion, a number of ideas were floated with the Opposition, particularly around planning regulation, capital funding, curriculum and teacher training. This dialogue will continue as Mr Wakeling takes up the opportunity to visit schools to discuss issues emerging from the day.

Irrespective of our own individual political views, these types of meetings are important for the sector, and ensure that our politicians understand the issues we face. It is also a testament to Catholic education that we are able to have these types of meetings with leaders from both sides of the political divide. In 2013, we ran a similar, and equally successful forum with the Premier Daniel Andrews, prior to the last state election, when he was in Opposition. The invitation will be extended to the Victorian Government later in the year.