The new school year begins this week with thousands of students and teachers returning to the classroom. In a video message to Catholic school communities across Melbourne, Director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Dr Edward Simons acknowledged that ‘the 2024 school year brings with it all the anticipation, a sense of hope and excitement, and perhaps a few nerves for our students and, of course, for our preps.’

As well as new students, he acknowledged the new principals starting this year, ‘as well as principals beginning a new principalship at a new school, and graduate teachers ready to shine in the classroom’.

Eleven primary schools and four secondary schools will begin 2024 with newly appointed principals. For Angela Ferro, new principal of Corpus Christi School, Glenroy, the chance to lead a school community is a way of writing a new chapter in a school’s ongoing story. ‘Together, we’ll learn from each other as we build on the wonderful legacy of those who have come before us’, said Angela. ‘I’m looking forward to sharing this exciting new adventure with the wonderful community here.’

The 2024 school year brings with it all the anticipation, a sense of hope and excitement, and perhaps a few nerves for our students and, of course, for our preps.
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Angela Ferro, new principal of Corpus Christi School, Glenroy. Photo courtesy of MACS.

David Broadbent has made the leap from deputy principal at Marymede Catholic College, South Morang, to take on the role of principal at Aquinas College, Ringwood. ‘I’m most looking forward to learning from and with the students, staff and families of Aquinas College about what makes our community so valued, and how I can support our community to continue to grow this sense of belonging’, said David.

Newly appointed principals will be celebrated at a commissioning Mass next week.

Together, we’ll learn from each other as we build on the wonderful legacy of those who have come before us.

For some, the 2024 school year will also be the start for brand new communities. St Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Primary School, in Tarneit North, will open its doors for almost 150 students, further evidence, according to Dr Simons, that ‘families continue to choose a Catholic education in growing numbers.’ Under the experienced leadership of Principal Robyn Kelly, the school is the fourth Catholic primary school in the St James the Apostle Parish, Hoppers Crossing North, to serve the needs of Melbourne’s rapidly growing western suburbs.

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St Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Primary School, Tarneit North. Photo courtesy of MACS.

Marymede Catholic College, South Morang, will open a new secondary campus at Doreen. Initially for students in Year 7, the campus forms part of a local Catholic education precinct and provides clear pathways for students from the Marymede Early Learning Centre, as well as for students from St Paul the Apostle Catholic Primary School, Doreen.

Planning is currently underway for this year’s Catholic Education Week, beginning 10 March. The 2024 theme, ‘In the light of Christ’, is drawn from the MACS strategic plan, MACS 2030: Forming Lives to Enrich the World. The week is an opportunity for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to celebrate their Catholic identity, the pivotal role they play within their local community and the strength of the sector. In addition to local events, MACS will host activities including the Mass of St Patrick for Schools, a gathering for the chairs of school advisory councils, and the popular Creative Arts Exhibition.

‘Year on year,’ said Dr Simons, ‘MACS students submit the most exquisite work for the art exhibition, and I can’t wait to see what’s produced this year.’

In what is shaping up to be an eventful year for Catholic schools in Melbourne, the MACS 2030 purpose—‘Forming lives of faith, hope and love in the light of Jesus Christ’—‘will again be central to everything we do across the organisation in 2024,’ he said.

Banner image: David Broadbent, new principal at Aquinas College, Ringwood, with school captains Isobel and Lucas. (Photo courtesy of MACS.)