Principal’s Welcome: 25 January 202225/01/2022
On behalf of Catherine McAuley College and Mercy Education Limited, I would like to welcome all our current and new students and families to a new school year.
Very recently the Mercy Education Limited Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 was released and is available on our website. Mercy Education Limited (MEL) is the governing body for Catherine McAuley College (CMC) in the Diocese of Sandhurst. The College operates under policies and practices that are authorised by MEL and the Diocese, and has a close affiliation with Catholic Education Sandhurst Limited (CESL) and the other schools across the Diocese. The MEL Policies and Codes of Conduct are also on the College website.
CMC, MEL and CESL are delighted to welcome well over 300 new Year 7s as well as a number of students at other year levels who are new to Catholic Education. Thank you for placing your trust and faith in the College, we will have an enrolment close to 1550 at the start of the year.
COVID Update – safe return to school arrangements
Thank you also for your patience while further detail was provided by the various governing authorities relating to COVID-19. On Monday 24 January, Catholic schools across Victoria received the revised COVID-19 guidelines from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV). These guidelines, which are available on our COVID-19 webpage, are critical in our preparation for the commencement of the year and our planning for Term 1. Under the guidelines, some of our scheduled calendar events will be compromised if they are deemed a risk to the wellbeing of our staff and students.
The College COVID-19 Update web page will be maintained with the all the current details and daily updates, including general information associated with positive cases and classes impacted.
So far, the College has not received any Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits. When they do arrive, they will be sent home with students to mitigate further risks posed by the traffic of people to and from school collecting materials.
In the past week the College has received a number of purifiers and they have been located around each campus. The College has also received a grant to increase the level of shade around the College that will provide for increased outdoor learning.
Please keep checking the COVID updates for information outlining adjustments and changes we will make to suit our situation, including drastic changes to the College Calendar. Not being able to congregate in large numbers means we will miss a number of significant events that are a tradition of the College. Some students will now have missed certain traditions that have been cancelled for two or three years in a row. In addition, all staff meetings and events have been moved to a virtual scenario for Term 1.
Over the break the new building (known as the ‘West Wing’ until a name is determined), has been completed thanks to the perseverance and commitment of Fleetwoods to ensure that the twelve classrooms are ready for day one. The landscaping will continue through early Term 1. This facility will allow the College to remove existing portable classrooms and enable the next phase of the masterplan.
Many will have noticed the frame for the Mercy Junortoun Sports Precinct stadium has commenced and the Stage 2 works are well underway to prepare for the ovals at the east end of the Junortoun site. To this point most of the work has been dedicated to preparing the surfaces for the ovals and installing the infrastructure and services for the next phases of the development.
New CMC Charter Bus Service
Over the past two years, the College has been considering and organising a private bus service so that students in the Strathfieldsaye area could travel directly to Coolock instead of via the Tom Flood interchange. Thank you to the many families that have adopted this service, which will significantly reduce student bus travel time. The College is currently investigating the purchase of an electric bus later this year in line with our reGEN policy and College Direction.
New Leadership Structure and Staff
This year the College embarks on a new leadership structure with a number of new roles and appointments which will ensure that the pastoral and learning needs of each student are achieved in accord with the College Direction.
I welcome our new staff on behalf of the College. We are very fortunate to be able to fill these positions and offer a full curriculum at the start of the year. This is a massive achievement given the challenges of staff shortages and COVID. I would also like to thank Mr Tim Edwards for successfully filling my role at the end of last year as the Acting Principal.
Support and Wellbeing
We look forward to working closely with each family this year. Everyday contact will be made by your son or daughter’s Student Advocate to check on their wellbeing. Please contact the College when you have any concerns or need further clarification.
Mr Brian Turner, Principal