Welcome to the 2021 school year. We especially welcome all the new students and families joining Catherine McAuley College and the Mercy Education community, including 320 incoming Year 7s and many new students commencing in Years 8 – 12. We look forward to supporting your learning and making sure you have an enjoyable and successful year. In total, we have 1480 students this year, which is well ahead of our growth forecasts and a strong endorsement of the College’s direction.
The start of the year will be very similar to 2020 in relation to the ongoing updates and guidelines associated with measures to protect our community from COVID. We are so blessed that the impact here has been marginal in comparison to other countries. There are some events on the calendar that will occur only if they are within the COVID-safe guidelines. Please keep checking the updates on Parent Access Module (PAM) and the key advice is that we all carry a mask with us at all times. Then we can respond to any situation.
In place of the traditional start to the year, the Year 7s will have a day to themselves at Coolock Campus on Friday 29 January, before Years 8 and 9 students return to school on Monday 1 February. We know the 2021 Year 7s have missed the usual transition programs that lead to beginning secondary school. Therefore, the aim of the day for Year 7 students is to focus on transition and orienting themselves to the new space.
We will endeavour to contact families via phone over the first few weeks of Term 1, so that conversations with learning mentors, that would have normally taken place on Pastoral Planning Day, will still occur. These are valuable in building the relationship between school and home.
This is our fourth year as Catherine McAuley College and the new uniform, which is now fully worn at Coolock Campus, has now made its way to St Mary’s Campus with our Year 10 students and increasing numbers in Years 11 and 12.
Class of 2020 Results
Congratulations to our 2020 graduates on their excellent results. They should be very proud of their achievements and success. Despite the challenges of COVID, these are some of our best results in recent years and demonstrate the dedication and commitment of this cohort throughout 2020. I am sure their efforts and their capacity to thrive in the face of adversity will serve them well. I wish them every success in the future.
I am delighted to announce that the Catherine McAuley College Dux for 2020 is Joshua Prowse with an ATAR of 99.35. The Dux Proximus is Joseph Sidhom with an ATAR of 98.15, followed by Clare McCarthy, with an ATAR of 98.10. Congratulations to Joshua, Joseph and Clare. They have shown great dedication with their strong work ethic and thoroughness in their approach to all subjects.
During the break there was some media attention relating to the planning permit for the development at Coolock. As the media noted it is a $30 million development in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo and other organizations such as Cricket Australia and the AFL. The Joint Use Agreement was finalised towards to the end of last year which allowed for the permit and application and tender process. There will be a formal announcement and launch through this term and we will see works commence this year.
In partnership with Mercy Health, we have ensured that all Year 10 students who signed up for the iGEN program at Bethlehem will have this opportunity in 2021. Despite the interruptions of COVID last year, it was enlightening to observe how the residents acclimatised to Zoom to stay in touch with our students and many relationships flourished. We look forward to building on this success in 2021. The Australian Catholic University is a partner with Mercy Health and CMC and are completing a $50,000 research project on iGEN and the benefits of intergenerational spaces. There has been significant interest in the program and the research and evidence will ensure the program continues to grow and generate momentum.
Our touchstone statement, “Inspiring members of our community to be learners impelled to thrive and serve”, is something we stand by and we will constantly be seeking your feedback and support with this goal. It is critical to our reGEN initiative, which encourages our students to care for our environment and reduce our impact on climate change.
Our reGEN direction is gaining momentum as we work as a community in partnership with Danihers and the many other partners connected with CMC. We aim to educate our community about the opportunities for environmental sustainability in our space and integrate action in all areas of College life.
Finally, the College and Mercy Education Limited wish to express our thanks for your partnership, gracing us with the gift of sharing in the education and development of your children.
Have a great year.
Mr Brian Turner, Principal