There can be no greater reason for rigorously planning for the future of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong than the well-being of an individual child.
Some 20,000 children are placed in our care each year and they deserve the absolute best that we can give them. Modern school education is highly complex and resources are finite. This demands a systematic approach to planning that begins first and foremost with being clear about our mission and purpose.
When our vision is clear we are all better positioned to set timely priorities and then deliver on what we proclaim. This is a responsibility that I take very seriously on behalf of the Bishop of Wollongong, parish clergy and the parents who ultimately entrust us with their children.
Catholic education is a significant contributor to the broader evangelising mission of the Church, and this vision for Catholic systemic schools sits within the overall Diocesan Pastoral Plan we are all called to implement.
Whilst there have been significant achievements in the past, none of that can be taken for granted into the future. We must plan carefully and prayerfully, always alert to improving the faith and learning opportunities of our students so that they will experience life to the full.
In considering the collaborative work of Catholic schools and the Catholic Education Office, I am reminded of Jesus' final promise to the disciples, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20). We are ultimately called to not work in isolation but to be of generous service and support to each other, heartened by the knowledge that we are always under the constant care of our ever-loving God.
May the work that we do together continue to make the joy of the Gospel a reality in people's lives as we endeavour to strengthen faith and improve the learning outcomes of the students in our care.
Director of Schools