In honour of his lifetime commitment to Catholic education, Peter Turner, the former Director of Schools for Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) received the 2021 Br Kelvin Canavan FMS Catholic School Leadership Award, which was presented to him virtually at the recent Catholic Schools NSW Education Law Symposium.
Welcome to the CEDoW COVID-19 Information Centre
Last updated 11 October 2021
This page contains a regularly updated overview of the systemic response by Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Information and updates specific to each school community will continue to be provided directly to parents and carers by school principals.
The increased use of technology in classrooms and cloud-based programs such as Compass, Google Classroom and Zoom has changed the way education is now delivered. To stabilise the added pressure on school networks and support their capacity to deliver classroom learning, the CEDoWInformation, Communication and Learning Technology (ICLT) team implemented an innovative solution to ensure that student learning is never interrupted due to internet outages.
In the three terms since joining the staff at St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Ruse, it’s safe to say Liz Jensen’s compassion and love of teaching has had a profound impact on the students in her Year 6 class, especially young Grace Kedde. Mrs Jensen, a former student at the school, was recently named the 2Day FM 'Teacher of the Week' after Grace nominated her for the competition.
Australian Catholics magazine has commemorated the Bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia with a youth edition, offering selected students an exciting and unique introduction to a career in the media. The publication was created by a team of guest editors, including Holy Spirit College, Bellambi Year 11 student, Zara Hatton.
With the arrival of Spring, school communities across the Wollongong Diocese have joined in with the global family to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation marking the beginning of the annual Season of Creation which runs from 1st September and concludes on 4th October.
On Sunday 8 August we celebrate the Feast of St Mary MacKillop, in honour of the first and only Australian saint, and take time to reflect on Mary’s life and the immeasurable impact her devotion and calling has had on Catholic education throughout this country. Over the last two centuries, thousands of dedicated women and men, often with very limited resources, rose to the challenge of building the vibrant and diverse Catholic education system that exists in Australia today, but none more so than St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
The uncertainty of the current times we live in, mixed with physical distancing and isolation from families and loved ones due to the recent COVID lockdown has left many feeling anxious, stressed, and worried. To help support people through these difficult circumstances, CatholicCare Wollongong has released six Keeping Calm and Connected: Mindfulness webinars with practical steps to reflect and calm the mind.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) has joined more than 30 Catholic entities across Australia in reaching a significant milestone in the Church’s efforts to eradicate modern slavery. CEDoW’s first Modern Slavery Statement was submitted to the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs in a Compendium of statements by members of the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN).
In recognition of her hard work and dedication, Sister Kerry Macdermott was recently awarded the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) – 2021 Non-Indigenous Service to Community Award. Over the year Sr Kerry has devoted her life to the service of others, particularly the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families in the Minto/Macarthur area.
A scripture passage from the book of Jeremiah and the question “What is the Spirit saying to you as a young person in our world today?” were the focus of the recent diocesan Year 12 gatherings with Bishop Brian Mascord. Over three days, Bishop Brian visited six Catholic secondary schools throughout the diocese, spending time in conversation with more than 1,000 Year 12 students. The days provided opportunities for students to share their hopes, challenges and ask questions.
"This year’s NAIDOC theme 'Heal Country, Heal Our Nation' is significant for me as a Catholic Aboriginal woman, my spiritual connection to country is inherent to my identity. It is more than a place it connects me to my faith and culture calling for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction. God’s gift of creation for all...."
— Reflection on NAIDOC Week 2021 and this year's theme, 'Heal Country!' from Karan Taylor, CEDoW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
The agenda of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia calls those attending the Council assemblies to “develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia”.
The Council agenda, which has emerged from three years and several layers of prayer, listening, dialogue and discernment, will shape the program of the Council’s assemblies – the first of which opens on October 3 this year.
Eight curious and dedicated Year 5 students from St Therese Catholic Primary School, West Wollongong have been awarded the title of Illawarra NSW Regional winners of the annual Da Vinci Decathlon competition.
The recent construction of a contemporary hospitality trade training kitchen and cafe at Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Oak Flats has the whole school community excited—especially the students.
More than one hundred students across Years 7 to 12 at John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow, had the opportunity to put their questions to federal politicians Hon Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Education and Women; Dr Mike Freelander, Federal Member for Macarthur; and Mr Chris Hayes, Federal Member for Fowler, at a Student Leadership forum recently hosted by the school.
This week Australians join together in celebration of Reconciliation Week. The theme for 2021, ‘More than a Word-Reconciliation Takes Action’ urges us to take up the challenge to make a difference. At St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra, six Aboriginal and 18 non-Aboriginal students across Years 11 and 12, have embodied the 2021 theme by enrolling in Stage 6 Aboriginal Studies subjects.
Roxanne Lillis is feeling pretty proud of her efforts, and well she should. The gifted visual arts teacher from Mount Carmel Catholic College Varroville has just been announced as the inaugural winner of the Zart National Teacher-Artist Prize – the first art prize for art teachers in the world.
A celebration to mark the bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia was held on Dharawal land this week, with students from 45 Catholic schools across the Diocese of Wollongong—from the Macarthur, Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands—gathering as one community of faith.
‘Never give up’ and ‘have the courage to follow your dreams’ were some of the inspirational messages students at St John’s Catholic Primary School, Dapto, heard during an impromptu visit from international award-winning author, Kirli Saunders.
We are often reminded of the phrase, act local, think global. At Mt Carmel Catholic College Varroville this phrase is being put into action in a Christ-centred way that fosters a sense of community and nurtures a culture of service through initiatives that promote stewardship and care for our Common Home.
Celebrating difference, acceptance, and inclusivity of people are at the heart of Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School’s identity. These qualities were on display when the school celebrated World Autism Awareness Month with a special day themed ‘We All Fit Together’ on Friday 30 April.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong have experienced a 17% increase in students over the past decade, with 2021 enrolments representing an almost 2% increase over last year’s ﬁgures.
Find out why more and more local parents are choosing to send their children to our Catholic schools...
Thank you to everyone who responded to our 'Have Your Say' surveys at the end of Term 1. One winner was randomly selected for each of the three surveys. Winners were notified by email in Week 2, Term 2.
Seaside sand modelling, rainbow mufti dress and sharing different classrooms – these were some of the highlights of a World Autism Awareness Day celebration at Ss Peter and Paul Parish Primary School Kiama.
Embracing the idea, 'You are never too small to make a difference', over 100 students representing Catholic primary schools from across the Diocese of Wollongong attended the inaugural Primary Student WEN Day which was held at St Paul’s Catholic Parish Primary School in Albion Park.
Two female students from Mt Carmel Catholic College, Varroville have been awarded a prestigious Victor Chang School Science Award for their positive work ethic, passion for learning, and curiosity for the world we live in.
The mission of Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong is to create vibrant Catholic school communities where every student finds meaning and purpose in life through continual growth in faith and improvement in learning. This purpose can only be achieved when students feel safe, supported and valued for who they are...
Christian Barbadillo is a talented young man. At the age of just 11, the Year 6 student from St Justin’s Catholic Primary School, Oran Park, is an accomplished songwriter, who recently composed and recorded a song titled 'We Are the Reason' in celebration of Holy Week and Easter.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) and Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor are very pleased to launch a new tertiary education pathways initiative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow, where 12% of the student population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
The sun may not have been out this St Joseph’s Day, but that didn’t stop the students of St Joseph’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Bulli, from shining as they gathered with Bishop Brian Mascord to celebrate the feast day of their patron saint.
From school liturgies to picnic lunches, Catholic school communities across the diocese were a buzz of excitement last week as they celebrated Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This year’s celebrations were especially meaningful, as they coincided with the nationwide celebration of 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia.
St Paul's Catholic Primary School Albion Park and St Joseph's Catholic High School Albion Park, with a close affiliation with the traditions of the Joseph Sisters who worked in the local parish, continue to emulate their teachings and to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. St Paul's and St Joseph's are inclusive and open to all. Enrolments are now open and welcomed by both schools.
Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is an annual celebration of Catholic education. This year, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong joins with dioceses and Catholic education systems and schools across the country to celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. CSW 2021 will be held throughout the Wollongong diocese from 1-7 March, with all 38 systemic Catholic schools celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of Catholic education.
Last night Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) celebrated their annual Welcome Dinner for new staff, across two inspiring simultaneous COVID safe events, located in Wollongong and Campbelltown. Over 185 guests were in attendance as new staff were warmly welcomed into our remarkable system of schools.
A love of teaching—along with the offer of financial and academic support and a guaranteed role at a Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) school—were the inspiration for recent CEDoW Catholic school graduates Morgan White, Monique Fenech, Sarah Schembri, Samuel Franklin and Bowe-Armanii Smith, who officially accepted positions in CEDoW’s new Step Into Teaching Scholarship Program last week.
Today, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) joins with nations around the world to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, acknowledging the past and present contribution of women working to close the gender gap in the field of science. edu
This week, indigenous and non-indigenous students joined with teachers, Aboriginal Education Assistants and Catholic Education Office staff at St Joseph's Catholic High School, Albion Park, to officially open a new indigenous garden installation.
Across the Diocese of Wollongong, the class of 2020 woke early today. With anticipation, they logged on to receive their HSC results. For 13 years, they have laughed, learned, and overcome many challenges—this year, their hard work, resilience and dedication have paid off.
More than a thousand students from our eight systemic Catholic secondary schools completed the HSC this year. More than a third of those students have been acknowledged as Distinguished Achievers, with a further six All-round Achievers, seven Top Achievers and one First in Course.
A big congratulations to CEDoW Aboriginal Education Assistant and talented Aboriginal artist, Uncle Kevin Butler, who has won the prestigious Mil-Pra AECG Exhibition Mayor's Choice Award for his artwork, 'Do trees feel pain when they burn?'.
Eight outstanding Year 12 student leaders from systemic secondary schools across the Diocese of Wollongong have been awarded the prestigious Bishop’s Student Excellence Awards, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to their Catholic faith, their academic, sporting, creative, and vocational achievements, and their community-based accomplishments during the 2020 school year.
St Patricks Primary School’s Living Classroom is a beacon of sustainability in the Catholic schools of New South Wales. This verdant cornucopia is a thriving food garden and inspiring learning oasis.
St Brigid’s Catholic Parish Primary School in Gwynneville held two drives during Term Three where more than 5,700 recyclable drink containers were collected and deposited to the Vinnies Return and Earn depot in Unanderra.
If you’re lucky enough to visit the Wollongong Art Gallery over the next month, what a beautiful sight you will see. In a year marred by disappointments and challenges brought on by COVID-19, the 52 inspiring student artworks selected for the 2020 CEDOW Christmas Story Art Exhibition and competition, provide creative and artistic examples of hope and joy, as illustrated through the message of the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus.
In a year marred by disruptions to student learning and cancellations of school events, the outgoing Year 12 students of John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow recently had the opportunity to celebrate a significant event in their school’s history – a blessing ceremony to officiate the change of school name.
Since its introduction in 2016, more than 3000 Catholic primary and secondary students have celebrated, explored, and engaged in their faith through a growing number of worship, and spiritual encounters provided by the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), in collaboration with Catholic Youth Ministry Wollongong (CYMW). A Review of the CEDoW Youth Ministry strategies and initiatives is currently being undertaken to ensure that the vibrant and creative methods of communication—developed to evangelise and engage a growing number of young adults and children with their faith in CEDoW schools—continues.
CEDoW schools have marked the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the Season of Creation with prayer, liturgy and actions that demonstrate a strong commitment to raising awareness and caring for our common home.
2700 packs of wellbeing postcards and delicious cookies - baked with love - have been distributed to Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) teachers, school and office staff to encourage people to take a break, start a conversation with friends, colleagues, and loved ones, in support of R U OK? Day.
Catholic Diocese of Wollongong is now taking orders for 'Adore—Daily Advent and Christmas Reflections 2020' – an 88-page pocket-size book containing short spiritually rich, yet accessible, daily reflections from the beginning of Advent (29 November 2020) through to the Baptism of the Lord (10 January 2021).
Order your copy today [link to purchase inside]
This year's celebration of National Tree Day was an opportunity for CEDoW schools to pray for and take action on behalf of native forests, wildlife and the protection of habitats.
When the students at St Justin's Oran Park came back to school in Term 3 they were gifted with the lovely sight of a brand new garden space. Over the holiday break a number of keen staff members got together to kick start the SJOP garden.
CatholicCare is excited to announce that they are now delivering free counselling support for members of the Shoalhaven community, who may have been affected in any way, by the bushfire events.
Schools across our diocese recently celebrated World Environment Day through prayers and actions that invited their communities to take ownership of their environment and actively engage in the protection of our earth.
During Laudato Si’ Week, the Holy Spirit united Catholics on six continents, where we deepened our connection with each other and creation by participating in webinars and local activities. Many of our CEDoW schools joined in too. At St Thomas More Ruse, they did not let remote learning get in the way of celebrating.
John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow have come together with other organisations in the Macarthur area to providing comfort and support to vulnerable Aboriginal Elders and indigenous families in the area, who have been struggling through these difficult times due to COVID-19.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Si', Pope Francis has invited Catholics to participate in Laudato Si' Week, a nine-day global campaign taking place May 16-24, 2020.
Social distancing, remote learning and the restraints of COVID-19 have not stopped our school communities from seeking ways to stay connected. One initiative is 'Growing Together Through COVID-19' which has been introduced at Holy Family Ingleburn and Stella Maris Shellharbour.
Due to NSW Government’s restrictions on two-person public gatherings, Bishop Brian Mascord will be celebrating Palm Sunday and Holy Week with online Masses and liturgies that will be live-streamed on the Diocese of Wollongong's YouTube channel dow.sh/YouTube, Facebook page facebook.com/WollongongCatholic and website www.dow.org.au.
Plenary Council President Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has written to 266 Catholics throughout Australia, calling them as delegates for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.
Find the delegates for the Wollongong Diocese inside.
Congratulations to St John the Evangelist Primary School Campbelltown on their record haul of containers for the Vinnies Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme.
As part of Catholic Schools Week, 500 CEDoW staff gathered for a moving celebration at the annual Diocesan Education Mass. The Mass saw Catholic educators from all four regions of the Wollongong Diocese come together in a strong statement of unity and spirit at St John Vianney Co-Cathedral, Fairy Meadow, to celebrate who we are and we believe in.
A proud community gathered together in solidarity at St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School, Gwynneville on Monday 3 March, to celebrate the blessing of the school’s recently installed 42kW Solar Photovoltaic system. Thanks to the outstanding fundraising efforts of the school community, St Brigid’s has now become the first virtually-electricity independent school in the Illawarra.
In 2020 Clean Up Australia celebrates 30 years of campaigning encouraging Australians to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment. As usual many of our CEDoW schools have joined in to do their bit to "care for our common home".
A blend of wisdom and youth filled the room, as over 200 guests gathered at Villa D’oro Function Centre on 27 February to welcome new staff to the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).
The Plenary Council in Australia is now just months away. The Plenary Council will begin on:
• Sunday 4 October 2020 in Adelaide and conclude on Sunday 11 October 2020
• Monday 28 June 2021 in Sydney and conclude on Saturday 3 July 2021
Update regarding overseas school excursions
Based on the advice we have received from Catholic Schools NSW, the NSW Department of Education, the NSW Ministry of Health and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CEDoW has determined that all overseas school excursions are currently 'on hold' until further notice. This also means that parents/students are not required to make any further scheduled payments for school-based overseas travel until further notice.
Wollongong Catholic School students come together in solidarity with the world's poor at Project Compassion for 2020. Ten-year-old Tawonga often had to miss school because she was too sick from hunger. The youngest of six children, Tawonga was born in a region of Malawa plagued by food insecurity and poverty. For most of her life, her parents struggled to put meals on the table. The family has also faced discrimination in their community due to Tawonga having a disability.
Good things seem to come in fives for Dylan Anderson. Fifteen years ago, he walked through the gates of St Michael’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Nowra for the first time. Five years later he was school captain. Now he’s back as the school’s newest teacher, sharing a class with the woman who first inspired his love for education – his Year Five teacher, Maree Hamilton.
Starting small was revealed as the secret to large successes at the Mount Carmel Catholic College Varroville’s HSC High Achievers ceremony last Friday, which celebrated the outstanding results of the school’s 2019 Year 12 cohort.
Mount Carmel recognised an impressive 14 HSC High Achievers, including student, Shequina Pereira, who placed first in all NSW-based schools in Indonesian Beginners. Mount Carmel was pleased to welcome special guests from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia for the occasion.
Over 100 CEDoW students and staff who attended December’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth have gathered together at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi to reconnect and reflect on the vibrancy of the special event and the many ways the experience has positively impacted them.
See photos from the ACYF trip and read the delegations five-day blog inside.
St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown student - Amy Sligar - was the recipient of the prestigious Vince Villa award at the recent 23rd NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) Blue Awards evening, staged at St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong on Monday 3 February.
According to Chinese philosopher Confucius, 'if you’re lucky enough to find a job that you love, you will never work a day in your life'. This belief was shared by Mr Peter Turner, recently-retired CEDoW Director of Schools, who, at a recent event celebrating and honouring his lifetime commitment to Catholic education, gave thanks that he, indeed, had chosen work that he loved.
View our photo gallery and read more about how the CEDoW community acknowledged Mr Turner’s retirement with a Mass of Thanksgiving and a Farewell Dinner.
All Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong schools are operational today, Tuesday 11 February 2020.
There are no known issues with buses or transport operators.
The Illawarra Highway remains closed in both directions at Macquarie Pass, and there is floodwater on Old Port Road at Port Kembla. Drivers should use alternative routes.
Following the devastating bushfires and drought in their region, the community at St Michael's Nowra is responding in a practical way to fire-affected animals and native birds.
Due to the worsening wet conditions, three of our schools are CLOSED THIS MONDAY 10 February – St Anthony's Catholic Primary School, Picton; St Paul's Catholic Primary School, Albion Park and St Joseph's Catholic High School, Albion Park.
Students should remain at home, but supervision is available if needed.
Based on the current weather conditions and the latest Severe Weather Warning from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) (ie: Sunday, 9 February 2020 at 5:25pm), CEDoW is asking all families and staff not to put their personal safety at risk when it comes to travelling to school this Monday 10 February...
For the first time in 18 years, the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux are currently visiting Australia on a four-month pilgrimage with her parents, Ss Louis and Zélie Martin. Mount Carmel Catholic College, Varroville has fittingly been the first school to host the relics of Carmelite saint and her parents on this 2020 pilgrimage.
Mount Carmel teacher, Victoria Lee, captured the spirit of the school’s Opening Mass celebrating the occasion…
UPDATE: The NSW Government has today requested that children who have visited China in the past two weeks [or who has been in contact with a person confirmed as having novel coronavirus] not attend school or childcare services until 14 days have lapsed from their date of departure from China.
More information from NSW Health inside. Parents with concerns can contact their local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for advice or visit the dedicated NSW Health information page on novel coronavirus here.
My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am writing to invite expressions of interest from prospective Diocese of Wollongong delegates to attend the Plenary Council 2020...
Completed applications using the Expression of Interest Form must be sent via email to Mr John Tubridy by 5.00pm Tuesday 4 February 2020. More information and forms inside.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I write these words at a time when many within your communities have lost so much and many grieve the loss of friends and family. There are really no words that can be said that can take away the pain or the loss that you are suffering at this time...
Read more from Bishop Brian inside.
It’s a time for giving gifts to our loved ones, but how can we extend the Christmas spirit to those in need? This December, Corpus Christi Catholic High School Oak Flats are brightening the season of goodwill for families in the Shellharbour region through their generous donations of hampers to the St Vincent de Paul Society's Christmas Hamper Appeal.
To inspire and support teachers to expand their knowledge to provide the optimum education for students, a new initiative has been implemented by the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) in partnership with the University of Notre Dame, Australia to increase the number of specialist mathematics teachers in the diocese.
In 2019, through the Return and Earn partnership with Vinnies, our schools have recycled 75,317 containers raising much needed funds for Vinnies social works.
This means that we have reduced the amount of rubbish going to landfill and we have also raised money for the St Vincent de Paul Society who assist those people in our community who need a helping hand.
The recent bushfires have had a devastating impact on our local communities – including on our native wildlife and their habitats. The students and staff at Holy Family Ingleburn have been keen to do their bit to support the recovery efforts, answering Pope Francis’ call to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.
Giant catapults, racing airplanes, bionic hands with moveable fingers and intricate light coding – in an exciting day of learning Year 9 students at St John the Evangelist Catholic High School Nowra challenged their imaginations in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) during their immersion day.
St Anthony’s Picton primary students feel the need – the need for speed! They’ve jumped into the F1 in Schools competition for the first time with full gusto, matching it with high school teams from across the state to collaborate, design, build and race the fastest Formula 1® Cars of the Future.
Read about the teams' impressive performances at the recent NSW State Finals, taking the competition up to students five years their senior.
VET students at John Therry Rosemeadow are reaping the benefits of the school’s many industry connections and partnerships – enjoying direct on-the-job experience and other valuable encounters to build their practical knowledge and skills, and expand their career options.
It’s every TAS, VET and trades student’s dream – multi-million dollar, modern facilities to learn skills, design and practice your craft; tailor-made training spaces for a range of specialities, state-of-the-art equipment and the highest quality resources, all at your fingertips for the best possible learning and outcomes. New major upgrades at St Joseph’s Albion Park now provide this potential for its students, all right at school.
Smoke from bushfires is affecting large areas of NSW.
Very heavy smoke is affecting the Sydney area. Smoke is also affecting areas including the north coast, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Wollondilly, Queanbeyan and Shoalhaven areas.
Smoke will settle in many areas through the morning and likely to settle throughout the day. If you are easily affected by smoke, take precautions to protect your health.
Public speaking is something that many people are afraid of undertaking. According to research, it tops our biggest fears, and is one of the world’s most common phobias – but it isn’t a concern for the students who attended this year’s Catholic Development Fund Diocesan Public Speaking grand final - an annual competition which challenges students to develop communication skills, confidence, motivation and knowledge sharing.
A reminder for people to be vigilant about their health and take precautions as the air quality across NSW may be affected by the extensive smoke from ongoing bushfires.
Information on managing bushfire smoke haze health risks and the things you can do to reduce your chances of being affected.
In a society where we are exposed to an avalanche of images every day – be it online, through television or social media – a striking photograph can still cut through the clutter, revealing to us something in our world we’ve been missing. John Therry Rosemeadow students have risen to this challenge, producing remarkable visuals to win 'Champion Photography High School' at this year’s Macarthur Nature Photography Competition.
The decision has been made to REOPEN St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Milton tomorrow (Tuesday 3 December) for those students who can access the school without any impediment.
However, we are respectfully asking that families who live in bushfire affected areas south of the school, such as those between Termeil and South Durras to avoid all non-essential travel including transporting children to school.
In the middle of the hustle and bustle of busy school life at St John the Evangelist Campbelltown now lies a beautiful raised green space, surrounded by paved gardens and splashes of vibrant colour. Logs, rocks, mats and pillows all decorated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designs and artworks provide a fitting tone for the school's new yarning circle and serene garden area, which was officially opened this week.
For the past two years, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong’s annual Lighting the Way Faith and Learning Recognition Awards have celebrated excellence, passion, dedication and commitment. This year’s event – which took place at the Campbelltown Catholic Club – was no exception.
As guests arrived at the venue, it was filled with conversation and laughter - amongst a group of the most outstanding leaders working in the Diocese of Wollongong.
In a competition where fast cars are the name of the game, students at Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan are going from strength to strength in their bid to design, construct and race the best Formula 1® Car of the Future in the prestigious international F1 in Schools competition.
Read how our three Magdalene teams fared at the recent State Finals.
On 15 November the Diocesan Sports Council staged the 23rd Annual CDF Sports Awards to recognise the outstanding achievements of students from primary and secondary schools across the Diocese. It was a fitting culmination to a busy sporting year and a positive advertisement for the pathways and structures available to our students and teachers.
A song about happiness, a short story about a golden piano, and a painting inspired by a Dubstep song that filled the artist with a “pulse of enjoyment” – these are some of the talented artworks produced by primary and secondary students from Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).
Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Ms Toni Sillis, Principal of Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School, Fairy Meadow. The three-stream school opened in 2012 – an amalgamation of the former St Francis Xavier’s and St John Vianney’s schools. The school also has a Learning Support Centre for students with special learning needs.
We spent #OneMinuteWith Toni to ask her about her educational background and her aspirations as principal of Good Samaritan.
Eight Year 12 students from across the Diocese of Wollongong have been celebrated at this year’s Bishop's Student Excellence Awards for their outstanding schooling achievements and contributions – praised for exemplifying the best of Catholic education in a young adult about to graduate from school.
INSIDE: View our photo gallery and listen to audio of each student's citation, read out at the ceremony by their principal.
Cushioned lounges, areas for audio recording and ‘charging cupboards’ for gadgets – these are some of the highlights of a renovation makeover at St Pius X Catholic Primary School in Unanderra which has excited students and teachers alike.
The new facilities provide modern and ambient spaces where students are able to learn in a diverse range of settings that incorporate flexible classrooms with breakout areas extending to airy outdoor zones.
Please be advised that the NSW Rural Fire Service State Operations Command has issued a Total Fire Ban Order for the entire State of New South Wales, from 00:01hrs Monday 11 November 2019 to 23:59hrs Wednesday 13 November 2019.
One of those precautionary measures, based on that advice means that the Director of Schools, in collaboration with the principals, has decided to officially close eight of our schools for tomorrow, Tuesday 12 November. Please see inside for more information.
St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park was very pleased to welcome members of the local Bunnings Warehouse team to the school last week to help students and staff learn about all the different herbs and veggies now growing in their gardens. The school community is now skilled up and ready to look after its new and improved horticultural setup.
The fourth annual Deadly Encouragement Awards were held on October 17 at Waniora Public School in Bulli, celebrating and recognising Northern Illawarra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students doing great things in their community. The aim of the awards is to make children feel valued by acknowledging and rewarding their efforts.
Creativity has filled the hallways and classrooms of St Joseph’s Albion Park with a special enthusiasm over the past month – music, singing, art, design, photography, drama, dance and more, all to celebrate ARTSTOBER and showcase some of the wonderful creative and artistic opportunities available at the school.
From investigating the effect of phone radiation to studying the local koala population in an effort to improve conservation practices, John Therry Rosemeadow student, Riley Tonna, has a heart and mind for science. His dedication and hard work in his Science studies have seen him awarded a prestigious Victor Chang School Science Award for 2019.
The students at St Paul's Albion Park have been 'busy bees', coming up with a solution to reduce the amount of single use plastics at their school.
The Year 5 Environmental Warriors – after some research into sustainable alternatives to single use plastics such as cling wrap and zip lock bags – decided to make sustainable Beeswax Wraps.
Over 50 students from five of our Catholic primary schools have put their innovative engineering, problem-solving and teamwork skills to the test, competing in the inaugural Diocesan VEX Robotics Final – with three impressive teams qualifying for the VEX Robotics Nationals Competition!
Which teams won the challenges and who has been invited to Nationals? Find out inside!
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong was well and proudly represented at the 2019 Teachers' Guild of NSW Awards night, with two key awards conferred on CEDoW staff – John Therry Rosemeadow Science Coordinator, Dr Aidan Johnson, and St Joseph's Albion Park early career teacher, Zachary Ellul.
As Pope Francis said, “An education in the fullness of humanity should be the defining of Catholic schools”. This sentiment is reflected in a new series of policies and procedures from Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), which were released to schools during several workshops held in September and October. Their aim is to embrace and support student pastoral care, wellbeing and diverse learning needs across all age groups.
World Teachers' Day will be celebrated in Australia this Friday 25 October. The day is an opportunity to acknowledge the significant contributions all staff in our schools and offices make, each and every day in support of the learning and wellbeing of our students but particularly the important role teachers play in shaping the next generation.
Over a thousand Years 5 and 6 children across the diocese began last term with blank canvases and sheets of paper. Now, 56 talented young students have had their artworks selected for the 2019 CEDoW Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery – inspiring us with beautiful imagery and artistry, rich meaning and creative storytelling to celebrate the Christmas Story.
Missed out on seeing the Christmas Story Art Exhibition? View our interactive virtual tour with audio to explore the exhibition yourself. View all our top 56 students' artworks in detail and hear from each student as they describe their artwork to you.
They may be young but they’re not lacking in talent. In August, students from St Thomas More Ruse shone in the Wakakirri Story-Dance Challenge extravaganza - Australia’s largest performing arts event for schools - held at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. The theme of their dance had guests captivated and enthralled, winning the school the ‘Best Biographical History Story Award'.
Describing water as a precious element, Pope Francis emphasises that “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights”. Noting the fundamental role of water in creation and human development, Pope Francis stresses that it is precisely for this reason that “care for water sources and water basins is an urgent imperative”.
How do you interpret the words ‘Do not fear for I am with you’? This was the question posed to attendees of the launch of World Mission Month – an annual occasion which celebrates stories of mission around the world, the power of collective charity and generous intentions.
This year, the words of Isaiah 41:10 inspired the theme of the event, which marked a special milestone. In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October would, from that point, be known as The Extraordinary Missionary Month - a worldwide occasion of prayer, stories of mission, formation and charity.
Students at John Therry Rosemeadow have enjoyed a high-quality, interactive biotechnology experience this term, with staff bringing the excitement of scientific discovery to the classroom. Using the kind of equipment university and PhD students use in the laboratory, the students have recreated the process used to manufacture human insulin and other life-saving medications, while practicing core STEM, critical thinking and collaboration skills.
St John’s Campbelltown student, Eva Grados, has tumbled her way to the top, scoring her first lead role in a feature film – ‘A Second Chance: Rivals’ – as talented young Aboriginal gymnast, Alkira.
Mixing it on set with the likes of Olympic gold medallist, Sally Pearson, and AFI Award winner, Natasha Wanganeen, the 12-year-old thoroughly relished the experience, and is now enjoying the red carpets and fanfare buzz around the Australian film’s premiere. The movie hits NSW cinemas this weekend.
Throughout September our Catholic Schools have joined with the Global Catholic community and other Faith traditions to pray, reflect on our lifestyles, and undertake prophetic actions to mark the Season of Creation.
The following stories are just a taste of some of the ways our schools have celebrated...
Leadership, inclusivity and the importance of owning your choices - these were some of the wisdom-filled topics shared by Bishop Brian Mascord when he came together with over 2,000 students from systemic and congregational secondary schools to mark the students’ final year at secondary school.
CEDoW Education Officer, Cathy Brown, said the purpose of these gatherings is for our Year 12 students to meet together as young women and men of the diocese to have the opportunity to converse with Bishop Brian.
“The dream has always been to give young people a dynamic, relevant and inspiring experience of the Catholic faith and this year, we saw that dream once again become an exciting reality.” These were the words of Seth Harsh, the Director of the Wollongong LIVE festival, who opened the annual event with a talk unpacking the theme ‘Called’. The subject? 'Who are we called to be, and by whom?’.
After a most distinguished 39-year career as a Catholic educator and leader, Mary Immaculate Catholic Parish Primary School, Eagle Vale’s Don Spencer has enjoyed his last day as principal, retiring from his position last Friday, 13 September 2019.
Read more from Don on his retirement, and the Mary Immaculate community's retirement celebrations for Don at Eagle Vale last Wednesday.
It’s the final countdown to nominate someone for a prestigious Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Award for 2019.
Hurry! The deadline for nominations is THIS FRIDAY, 20 September.
Head to www.dow.catholic.edu.au/ltw-awards for more information and to nominate today.
Forget the Scarecrow’s wish: ‘If I only had a brain’! Students at St Joseph’s Albion Park have creatively and cleverly tackled a ‘Wizard of Oz’-inspired challenge at the Tournament of Minds Regional Final, outdoing all other Illawarra and South Coast secondary schools to win the Arts competition and earn their place in the NSW State Final!
Read more about the ToM success at St Joseph's, as well as at St Clare’s Narellan Vale, inside.
CEDoW staff have joined educators from across NSW at the Hunter Valley in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to attend the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education NSW State Conference.
In its second day today, the conference has been a fantastic opportunity to explore, connect, discern and share knowledge and wisdom in relation to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander education.
Robots ready to rumble! After weeks of practising and refining their coding, students across the Diocese who qualified for the CEDoW 2019 mBot Challenge Finals were set to let their mBots do the talking! The culmination of northern and southern regional rounds, the Finals saw over 250 people pack into the Fraternity Club at Fairy Meadow to cheer their teams on, as students coded their mBots to battle, dance and race their way to success.
How do you raise resilient children? How can I help my teen manage anxiety and stress? What’s going on inside my child’s adolescent brain?
Parents at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi have gained insight into the answers, hearing from adolescent expert, author and educator, Maggie Dent, on how to help teens cope, conquer and shine, with what she calls "calm, common-sense, connected parenting".
Read more about her visit and what advice she gave to parents and teachers.
The next generation of teachers was celebrated at a special event last week to commemorate the achievement of 66 proficient teachers – 30 primary and 36 secondary – who will educate and guide the minds of tomorrow.
At Villa D’oro Function Centre in Wollongong, guests gathered for the Teacher Accreditation Recognition Ceremony - an initiative under CEDoW’s Awards and Recognition Program, acknowledging the achievements of teachers who have reached this significant career milestone.
It’s not every day another country hears of your school’s innovative learning and teaching, and sends delegates to visit to learn more. But that’s exactly what has happened at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park, where the High Commissioner for Zambia and his delegation have seen firsthand how the school is using technology to improve student outcomes.
From Kiama to Eagle Vale, Fairy Meadow to Moss Vale, Year 6 leaders across our diocese congregated as faith-filled communities, when Bishop Brian Mascord led a series of regional Masses to mark the students' transition to secondary school – an important milestone in each child’s educational journey.
The yearly Masses, which are a coming-of-age tradition for students graduating from their primary school education, are an opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist and they also remind students how they can foster their relationships with Jesus through compassionate actions and loving words as they grow.
App smashing, augmented reality, iPad tips and tricks, and even creating new and innovative ways of learning using Apple apps and technology – it’s all at the fingertips of St Joseph’s Bulli teacher, Michelle Bunder, who has been accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2019!
Read more from Bunder on her experience as an Apple Distinguished Educator, attending the recent ADE Institute event, and using Apple technology in the classroom to enhance learning and teaching.
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, Most Reverend Brian Mascord, is seeking to appoint a Director of Schools following the announcement that Mr Peter Turner will retire at the end of 2019. To commence January 2020.
Details to apply inside.
In just their first time participating in Wakakirri – Australia’s largest Story Dance Festival involving hundreds of schools and over 20,000 students across the nation each year – St Paul's Moss Vale has won not one, but two awards for their fantastic contemporary dance performance.
A phenomenal effort from the St John’s Nowra Wakakirri dance troupe – they’ve performed spectacularly to win the 2019 Wakakirri Shoalhaven Regional Challenge and pick up a further nine performance and production awards for their powerful dance telling the heartfelt story of a Syrian refugee's tumultuous journey fleeing home.
From the art room to the playground, the school grounds to the library, there has been plenty happening to mark NAIDOC Week 2019 as CEDoW schools have come together to celebrate the invaluable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made - and continue to make - to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation.
With over 700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families enrolled in our systemic Catholic schools across the diocese, CEDoW communities were enthusiastic participants in the annual NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week.
My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I write to you concerning the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal in relation to Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on five charges of child sexual abuse. The court rejected the cardinal’s appeal, in a 2–1 ruling...
Read more from Bishop Brian inside.
Caped crusaders, crazy costumes and colourful characters – it’s shaping up to be a jam-packed week of fun and creativity this Book Week, bringing children and books together in our schools all across the Diocese. With inspiration from this year’s theme, ‘Reading Is My Secret Power’, we have a lot to look forward to!
Here is a snapshot of some of the wonderful celebrations of children’s literature in our schools this week – 10 ways our CEDoW schools are marking Book Week 2019.
It was a young 20-year-old, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, who started the St Vincent de Paul Society when he decided to do something about the poverty he saw in his community. Today, it is the young people in our Catholic primary and secondary schools who are a driving force behind the success of Vinnies’ good works in the Diocese of Wollongong.
Read more about the Vinnies-CEDoW partnership, as published in the Winter 2019 edition of Journey Magazine.
Smiling in the face of adversity, the value of hard work and ‘doing the God stuff’ - these were some of the topics that delighted, educated and had guests in fits of laughter at the biennial Leading Inspirations Dinner held on 2 August 2019, an initiative of CEDoW's Workplace Gender Equality (WGE) Committee.
Since its inception, the dinner has become a significant networking event for CEDoW employees and their external colleagues, to inspire attendees to pursue their passions while maintaining a work-life balance. This year, we were fortunate to have Robyn Moore as the evening's keynote speaker, whose motivational talks have touched hundreds of thousands across Australia and internationally.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) students and staff at St John’s Nowra continue their success, with a number of the school’s Year 12 Hospitality students recognised at the annual Workplace Learning Shoalhaven Excellence in Vocational Education and Training Awards.
See which students won a Certificate of Excellence in Hospitality, and who went on to win the Judges’ Award for Outstanding VET Student in the Shoalhaven.
A significant moment in the history of St Justin’s Oran Park – the school community has launched its new six-house colour system based on the Dharawal seasons of the year.
Using the beautifully crafted research by Aunty Fran Bodkin in her book, D’harawal Climate & Natural Resources, the school has renamed and expanded its four-house system to now include six new house names, colours and animals representative of each Dharawal season.
"I write to convey to you, the news that Mr Peter Turner has advised me of his intention to retire from his position as the Director of Schools at the end of 2019...."
Read more from Bishop Brian inside.
Students at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park will now have the chance to train next to first-class athletes at the top of their game – the likes of Matildas star Caitlin Foord, UFC champion Alex Volkanovski, and the Illawarra Hawks. The school’s Aspiring/Elite Athlete Program will see students enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, resources, mentoring and support to be the best-equipped young athletes in the region.
The exciting new program is aimed at providing aspiring athletes at St Joseph’s with the education, skills and support they need to reach their full potential – in their chosen sport, their academic studies and their life and career ahead.
In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October would, from that point, be known as The Extraordinary Missionary Month - a worldwide occasion of prayer, stories of mission, formation and charity.
This year, the theme of the month is ‘Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.’ As his Holiness Pope Francis shared in an open letter, “I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment. Celebrating this month will help us first to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism.”
The Holy Cross Helensburgh school community recently celebrated National Tree Day with a "Tree Liturgy" that included a presentation of a plant to each class and the office staff to look after until the tree is ready to be presented back to the Gardening Club to plant into the school grounds.
Students at St Paul’s Camden have enjoyed valuable opportunities to sharpen their artistic skills from those who have come before them, engaging in experiences with talented local artists – including a former student!
Year 4 students were excited to have Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan Year 12 student and gifted artist, Peter Cornett, visit the school to facilitate a manga art workshop with them. Meanwhile, Year 2 students enjoyed learning about perspective drawing from Camden artist, Roger Percy.
Congratulations to our CEDoW staff involved in promoting sustainable development projects and solutions to poverty in disadvantaged communities in the Pacific – our Diocese has been awarded the ‘Sustainable Relationships Award’ at Palms Australia’s Solidarity Awards 2019.
As a roomful of primary school children sat in their classroom engaged in a STEM activity, there wasn’t anything unusual about the scene – apart from the age of their ‘teachers’. On this day, a group of Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats students took part in a role swap and became educators for the day in a unique immersion.
A group of students from Years 9 to 12 were tasked with teaching younger students from Nazareth Catholic Primary School in Shellharbour City to give them a glimpse of what it takes to be a teacher and whether it could be their future vocation.
Congratulations to our Aboriginal Education Assistant, Rheanna Lotter! The Indigenous artist and Southern Highlands resident has designed the Indigenous print which will feature on the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team uniform.
Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Danny Sykes, principal of Stella Maris Catholic Primary School, Shellharbour. Stella Maris was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1958. Seven Sisters of Charity have guided Stella Maris in faith, hope and love as educational leaders since the school's foundation, including Sr Colleen Mills, who retired in 2009 – the last Sister of Charity principal in the country.
We spent #OneMinuteWith Danny to ask him about his hopes in Catholic education and returning as principal to the primary school he once attended himself...
Holy Spirit College, Bellambi invites you to their musical production of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'.
See inside to purchase tickets, and for performance dates and times.
Students at St Justin's Oran Park have rocked up to school with some spectacular crazy hairdos to end Term 2! The children sported many fun looks – tall hair, glittered hair, and even rainbow-coloured hair with monster faces – to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis in support of one of their own.
“As a student, I am one of many who seem to almost lose themselves in the rush of schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and growing responsibilities,” shared Jaden from Mount Carmel Catholic College in Varroville.
“In this chaotic world, controlled by social media and influenced by the advancement of technology, it’s easy to not find time for reflection and engagement with faith, and to lose track of the important things in life.”
Forget making sandwiches on kitchen work placements – it’s all about the real experience of working in the hospitality industry for students at John Therry Rosemeadow. A team of more than 30 Year 12 Hospitality students have prepared, cooked and served a delicious three-course dinner to a packed dining room at the Campbelltown Catholic Club – with glowing reviews!
It started off as a short 20-second background video for the homepage of the Diocese of Wollongong’s new website. Six months and 23 separate film shoots later, the diocese has released its new 'It’s Who We Are' video.
The short sub-three-minute video clip narrated by Bishop Brian Mascord and shot by master filmmaker, Hugh Clark, showcases the wonderful people and works of the diocese that happen every day and often go unnoticed.
WATCH the diocese's new video inside.
What better way to practise your language skills than to speak to the experts! In a heartwarming intergenerational experience, students at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi have visited the Italian residents of Marco Polo Aged Care to get to know about life in Italy and put their beginner Italian to the test.
Kiwi fruit, pop art and landscapes – there was something for everyone on the walls of the Catholic Education Office, Marian Centre when the ground floor was transformed into an exhibition space, unveiling the annual Director’s Art Gallery Ceremony.
This year, the exhibition includes 19 students from four secondary schools and one K-12 school who have secured coveted positions in the showcase – with no shortage of talent.
Why did Humpty Dumpty fall? How does an egg move? If Humpty wanted to sit safely on the wall, how could the structure be changed to keep him upright?
These are some of the key inquiry learning questions children from Kindergarten Blue at St Francis of Assisi Warrawong have been investigating, as part of their STEM inquiry based unit – and they’ve left no brick unturned!
Vocational Education and Training (VET) students from our Macarthur Catholic secondary schools have helped produce a wonderful morning of entertainment and a delicious feast for over 350 local senior citizens at the inaugural VETsteddFOOD.
The unique event saw Camden Civic Centre filled to capacity, as more than 120 VET students – including those from Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan; John Therry Catholic High School, Rosemeadow; St Benedict’s Catholic College, Oran Park; and Mater Dei, Camden – put their skills to the test.
CEDoW students in the Diocese of Wollongong have joined millions of people around the world to celebrate World Environment Day. Schools embraced the 2019 theme of ‘Beat Air Pollution’ to draw attention to this pressing environmental concern and how we can all do our part to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate World Environment Day, as actioned by our wonderful students and staff across the diocese...
Building the next generation of innovators, programmers and problem-solving leaders: St Paul’s Albion Park, St Paul’s Moss Vale, and St Therese West Wollongong have given their Years 5 and 6 students the opportunity to excel in VEX robotics, participating in the first CEDoW VEX Robotics Scrimmage Day.
Hear from the students and teachers involved, and see pictures and video from the day.
Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Philip Barrington, principal of St Thomas More Catholic Parish Primary School, Ruse. St Thomas More is located in Campbelltown in the Macarthur region, with traditions enriched from the foundational charisms of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and the Marist Brothers.
We spent #OneMinuteWith Phil to ask him about his background in Catholic education and his hopes for the children in his care at St Thomas More.
Dozens of local business and community leaders will come together on Thursday 20 June at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus for the eighth annual Wollongong Vinnies CEO Sleepout, forgoing a night of comfort to help make a tangible difference to the lives of those less fortunate.
As well as raising money for crucial Vinnies services and programs providing food, accommodation and support to people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage, the initiative is a chance for Wollongong leaders to gain a better understanding of the issue and how they can continue to make an impact through their own work.
Meet Jackson Parker, My Gateway’s first school-based apprentice!
Jackson, who is a student at John Therry Rosemeadow, began his carpentry apprenticeship in March, working one day per week at host employer, Combined Building.
"My Sisters and Brothers in Christ – this year will mark the first time that I have experienced an Ad Limina visit to Rome with my fellow Australian bishops. The last Ad Limina took place in 2011 and usually happens every five years. So, this visit is very overdue..."
Read more from Bishop Brian as he prepares to travel to Rome next week with Australia’s Catholic bishops for their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit.
As winter begins and times get even tougher for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in our region, the St Vincent de Paul Society is calling for people to generously volunteer their time to help support our local Vinnies Van.
Read on for more information about the Vinnies Van, what our volunteers say about the experience, and everything you need to know to be a Vinnies Van volunteer and help those in need in our region this winter.
It started off as a simple excursion; a fun trip away from school to visit the kids of Jarjum College in Redfern. But by the end of the day, the students of Holy Spirit College Bellambi came away having an experience they won’t soon forget – appreciating the power of human connection and valuing the start of beautiful, lasting friendships between the students and both schools.
It's the role that makes actors into stars, and now it’s the turn of St John the Evangelist, Nowra alumni, Natalie Abbott, to catch the bridal bouquet and take on the lead role of Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.
Alpacas, maracas and book stackers galore! Students in our CEDoW schools across the Diocese have joined over one million kids for National Simultaneous Storytime – gathering together in libraries, classrooms and homes across in Australia and New Zealand to be read aloud Australian author and illustrator, Matt Cosgrove’s book ‘Alpacas with Maracas’ at the same time.
Here’s a round up of National Simultaneous Storytime activity in our Catholic primary schools.
Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Stephen Lo Cascio, principal of Mount Carmel Catholic College, Varroville. Mount Carmel is a Year 7-12 co-educational Catholic college serving the parishes of Campbelltown, Eagle Vale, Ingleburn, Macquarie Fields, Ruse and Varroville in the Macarthur region.
We spent #OneMinuteWith Steve to ask him a bit about his background and aspirations in Catholic education...
St Michael’s, Nowra is making the healthy choice the easy choice for students after becoming an official ‘healthy school canteen’, meeting the NSW Government’s new Healthy School Canteen Strategy and food and drink criteria.
The St Michael’s canteen menu now includes a variety of healthy, tasty and interesting food options, providing students with the essential nutrients they need to learn, play and grow.
It’s the lunchbox that's ticking boxes for both parents and kids – colourful, leak-proof, airtight, flexible compartments, cost-effective and an easy lunch-packing solution that reduces our waste and impact on the environment.
Illawarra carers Nathan and Deb have been carers for 11 and a half years through CatholicCare Wollongong's Permanency Support Program, Fostering Futures.
After being unable to have their own biological children, Deb and Nathan (pictured) decided to enquire about becoming carers in the hope of being able to provide a child with a permanent home.
Each year, over a hundred thousand people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week — Australia’s biggest celebration of families in all their diversity.
The aim of National Families Week (15–21 May) is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. The enduring theme ‘Stronger families, stronger communities’ highlights the importance of families to communities and that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.
The 2019 federal election will be held this coming Saturday, 18 May 2019.
Throughout the election campaign, Catholic Education has highlighted the needs of Catholic schools, and the parties have responded with various election promises. Here are the facts to keep you informed about the policies that affect our Catholic school students and their families.
Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Michael Reardon, principal of St Paul’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Camden. The school’s origins go back to 1883, when two Josephite nuns arrived to teach in what is now the school library.
We spent #OneMinuteWith Michael to ask him a bit about his background and aspirations in Catholic education.
I’m writing to express my gratitude for the prayers and support provided for the Townsville Catholic Education Office community, following the recent devastating floods.
The financial support for the ‘Show the Love for Townsville’ initiative, inspired by Brisbane Catholic Education, has been greatly appreciated. Over $4,000 has been raised in our coordinated efforts, with $2,000 of this donated at the Diocesan Education Mass.
On Friday 17 May, children from across Australia will put their feet first, and journey towards a healthier future by participating in the 20th anniversary of National Walk Safely to School Day.
The annual event raises awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for the long term wellbeing of our children. Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on their cognitive and academic performance.
Students with a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at St Therese, West Wollongong are now able to engage in STEM learning in a dedicated ‘makerspace’ area, fostering creativity and inquiry-based learning.
St Therese’s once tired looking basement has been transformed into a vibrant and engaging space that incorporates the school’s Spheros, mBots and VEX robots, as well as a range of construction tools and materials for the students to use to engage in STEM-related activities both as part of in-class learning and during lunchtime workshops.
John Therry Rosemeadow Year 12 students have put their hospitality skills to the test, cooking up a storm for over 70 senior students and teachers. The group is studying the VET subject of Hospitality as part of their Higher School Certificate; they were offered this unique learning experience from local non-profit, MWLP, as part of their mandatory work placement requirements.
Contemporary resources, teacher professional learning and knowing every student personally. These are some of the elements which are helping Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) schools to excel – and their progress is earning them top outcomes.
This week, the nation’s NAPLAN test results were released with three Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong schools recognised as some of the state’s most improved performers - St Brigid’s, Gwynneville; St Clare’s, Narellan Vale and St Michael’s, Mittagong. These schools were identified to have shown 'substantially above average gain' in reading and/or numeracy achievement.
Keep clear! Archaeological dig in progress! Cue the Indiana Jones music and grab the trowels and dusting brushes – Year 7 students at St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park have used their expertise to excavate and explore a unique dig site on school grounds, uncovering a number of hidden artefacts to analyse.
Read more about this practical, hands-on History task designed by the staff at St Francis – an exciting and memorable way for students to consolidate their learning and apply the theoretical skills explored in class over the past term.
Passion and culinary skills are currently on display, with students from St Clare’s, Narellan Vale now featuring in ‘Foodie School’ – a YouTube cooking series hosted by renowned chef and dad, Peter Sheppard, in partnership with the Campbelltown Catholic Club.
Launched last week, the fun and educational initiative aims to help children and families enjoy the steps involved in food preparation and encourages good eating habits by learning the source and importance of cooking with fresh, quality ingredients.
Remembering. Healing. Reconciliation.
The Appin Massacre Memorial event is held in recognition of the Aboriginal people who were killed by government troops in April 1816. Held annually for over 20 years, this memorial is an important cultural gathering for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to come together in a spirit of reconciliation and healing.
Read more for details on the 2019 Memorial and to download the event flyer.
There’s a lot more to the gardening club at Holy Cross Helensburgh than the beautiful gardens they’ve planted and nurtured – it’s a welcoming environment where friendships blossom and students are supported to grow; where the seeds of stewardship are sewn through many aspects of school life, and learning from nature and getting your hands dirty is valued like study from books.
Read more about the school's impressive horticultural setup: a vegetable garden known as ‘The Patch’, an orchard, their Yalunga Garden (a peaceful native garden space), and their latest venture – bush tucker plants now also growing in The Patch.
Pope Francis has urged young people to embrace their role as the present and the future of the Catholic Church by building relationships with their community and with God.
The Holy Father has issued the apostolic exhortation following last year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The exhortation, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), takes the form of a letter to young people and, through them, to the entire People of God.
Read more about Christus Vivit and download a copy at the link below.
A gentle sea breeze and the feeling of the sand between your toes; water lapping onto the rocks nearby. It could be mistaken as a break far away from the classroom, but this is the future for students’ Science, Maths, English and Geography lessons at Stella Maris, Shellharbour.
Stella Maris is set to incorporate outdoor learning into a typical school day for their classes – an innovative approach to teaching an integrated curriculum and, quite literally, a breath of fresh air that will benefit students academically, physically, mentally, socially and emotionally.
With staff keep cups, no plastic cutlery in the canteen, reusable or biodegradable containers for lunches and refillable water bottles, the 'green' spirit is alive and well amongst the staff and students at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi.
Congratulations to St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Moss Vale, whose lovingly-grown tomatoes from the school’s fruit and vegetable gardens have won two 2nd place prizes at the Moss Vale Show this month!
The award-winning produce – including the tastiest varieties of grape, cherry and gourmet tomatoes – caught the keen eye of the show’s judges to win runner up in both the ‘best of all tomatoes’ and the broader ‘best of all vegetables’ categories.
Leadership, collaboration and authentic teaching: these were some of the topics covered in a Diocesan first, where experts in education gathered to collaborate and share their passion.
The professional development event was six months in the making – part of a broader strategic approach to improvement – and brought together teachers and support staff from all Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese, with the experience offered as nine different events separated according to staff's positions.
Thousands of students from across the Diocese have gloved up over the past two weeks for Schools Clean Up Australia Day. From clean ups of school grounds and local parks to themed classroom learning and activities raising awareness amongst students and staff, our schools have embraced this year’s theme, ‘Change Starts With You’ by taking action to protect and care for their local environment.
An invitation is extended to the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong to come together at the 2019 Diocesan Gathering on Saturday 30 March.
The Gathering is an opportunity for people from across the Diocese to reflect on the issues raised in the Plenary Process in our Diocese, hear the experiences of a selection of Local Animators and next steps in the process of listening and discernment.
Following media reports of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell in the County Court of Victoria, a statement has been released by the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, to the community. A copy is linked here for your information.
Please also find here, a pastoral letter from Bishop Brian Mascord on the sentencing of Cardinal Pell.
To mark the start of Lent, 40 Catholic schools from the Diocese of Wollongong gathered at St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School in Gwynneville to launch Caritas Australia's Project Compassion appeal for 2019.
This year, the annual fundraising and awareness-raising campaign shares six stories which show the power of hope and the work of Caritas Australia in communities in Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Australia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
'The future has a name - and that name is HOPE.'
In the midst of Catholic Schools Week, the 2019 Diocesan Education Mass was a special and moving celebration for our CEDoW education community. It saw over 800 Catholic educators from all corners of our growing Diocese come together at St John Vianney Co-Cathedral in Fairy Meadow in a strong statement of unity and spirit, and celebrate not just who we are, but what we believe in.
Over 200 Year 6 students from our four Southern Illawarra primary schools, St Paul's, Albion Park; Stella Maris, Shellharbour; Nazareth, Shellharbour City; and Ss Peter and Paul, Kiama, all gathered at Nazareth Catholic Primary School to enjoy the Southern Illawarra Catholic Schools (SICS) Year 6 Leaders Day - a day jam-packed with fun experiences that engaged and supported them in ideas around leadership, identity, self-esteem, empathy, social justice and teamwork.
There was mingling, laughter and unexpected gifts, as over 190 guests gathered on 28 February at Villa D’oro Function Centre for a dinner to welcome new staff into Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).
Each year, newly appointed staff attend the dinner together with their principals, including leadership team members, early career and experienced teachers, support staff and CEO officers.
St Joseph’s Albion Park War on Waste (WoW) Club members have joined forces with community environment groups, Two Week Red Bin Challenge and Oceans in Focus, to clean up over nine large garbage bags full of plastics and rubbish around local Barrack Point beach spot, Little Lake.
Students, families and staff from Catholic school communities in and around Townsville have been devastated by the worst floods ever recorded in the region. This comes on top of the devastating drought conditions which have severely impacted these communities.
Catholic Schools Week is here! Join our 38 systemic Catholic schools in the Diocese and Catholic school communities across NSW in celebration from 3-9 March 2019.
View our Catholic Schools Week video here or view it within this article.
Our Catholic schools are vibrant places of learning and faith, hope and opportunity - where every student is supported to reach their full potential and find meaning and purpose in their lives. Catholic Schools Week is a chance to raise awareness and celebrate the strengths and distinctiveness of a Catholic education and the fundamental role our CEDoW schools play within our local communities.
Over 30 representatives from Diocesan primary, secondary and congregational schools, the Catholic Education Office, Catholic agencies and parishes gathered with Bishop Brian Mascord at the Xavier Centre in Wollongong earlier this month for the second of four of the Diocese of Wollongong’s Plenary 2020 regional listening sessions.
These regional listening sessions have been an opportunity for those in our local area to engage with each other and give feedback on the Australian Bishops’ call to reflect on the future of the Catholic Church in Australia: what are we called to do, who are we called to be, and how we need to change.
Five students from the Diocese of Wollongong were recognised for their sporting achievements at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) 22nd Blue Awards on 11 February at St Mary’s Star of the Sea College, Wollongong.
Seeking to portray the diversity and individuality within issues affecting women in modern society, John Therry Rosemeadow student, Jacinta D’Cunha, created her HSC Visual Arts body of work, ‘Dear Sisters….in Solidarity’. Its artistic quality, visual impact and timely message have seen it selected from almost 9,000 artworks across the state to not only be exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from today, but win her the exhibition’s prestigious S&S Creativity Award, too.
As a new school year commences, CEDoW schools are well placed to meet the growing demand for the engagement of casual staff through an innovative app — Tap for Teacher — seamlessly connecting schools and staff.
CEDoW students have produced colourful and deeply reflective works in the 2018 Stretching Potential through Learning in Interactive Challenging Environments (S.P.L.I.C.E.D) Program, entitled 'Transformation: Inventions, Creativity and Ingenuity that have Changed the World'.
The joyful voices of the students of St Joseph’s, Bulli resounded around their school, as they celebrated the official blessing and opening of their new building, refurbished learning spaces and adventure playgrounds. In a beautiful pocket of the country, the students can learn and play, with all they need for a quality Catholic education.
John Therry Rosemeadow student, Rhys Dewick, is one of the country’s most promising baseball prospects - and has an impressive list of team selections and awards to prove it. In a busy final year of secondary school, Dewick has stepped out onto the field as a NSWCCC, NSW All Schools and an Australian Schools representative, with his efforts culminating in a recent baseball tour of the US in front of the sport’s top scouts.
A targeted school-wide campaign to streamline waste management by increasing recycling and composting, and reducing the rubbish going to landfill, has earned St Michael’s, Thirroul official recognition and praise - the school being awarded a Wollongong City Council ‘Rise and Shine Environment Award’.
What types of parent education programs are important? How can parents contribute to living the faith at the school? What are important priorities for fundraising in our school? These are some of the questions addressed by St Michael’s, Thirroul parents at the school’s recent Parents and Friends Association (P&F) meeting.
More than 900 students from our eight systemic Catholic schools across the Diocese of Wollongong were up early today to receive their HSC marks. Our students’ hard work and dedication has paid off, with many achieving remarkable results - including one First in Course, three All Round Achievers and 120 Distinguished Achievers.
John Therry Rosemeadow Year 9 student, Olivia Torres, was recently announced as a winner in the OzKids 2018 Young Australian Art and Writers’ Awards competition, for a poem she composed on the theme of war. In November, Olivia and her parents were flown to Melbourne to attend the awards ceremony and dinner.
Congratulations to Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan - named by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, as one of this year’s Anzac Day Schools’ Award recipients for their Year 10 History elective class’ research project commemorating the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
Students recently gathered at John Therry Catholic High School, Rosemeadow for the CEDoW Secondary Students Social Justice Day, that provided an opportunity - through the creative arts - for reflection and response to the 2018-2019 Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement.
Congratulations to St Justin’s, Oran Park student, Holly Burfitt, who has beaten out hundreds of young wordsmiths across the country to claim junior runner up in the Australian Catholics’ 2018 Young Journalist Award competition.
Holly wowed the judges with her 300-word piece on local hero, Wests Tigers Community Engagement Manager, Shaun Spence. It skilfully captured the essence of Shaun’s story as someone making a real difference to the people around him.
A new 2018 Advent Calendar app is featuring CEDoW students’ Christmas Story Art Competition artworks as part of its daily delivery of visual and written inspiration for the Christmas season.
The Advent Calendar is a joint project of Xt3 and Sydney Catholic Youth, and promises to help schools, classes and individual young Catholics spiritually prepare their hearts and minds for Christmas.
View the calendar online and download the app inside.
On Saturday 1 December, five Year 10 students from Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan will be launching a high-altitude balloon into near space in Binya, in NSW’s Riverina region. This comes after two years of planning and devoted work, with the students aiming to reach for the stars!
On Friday 23 November, the Diocesan Sports Council staged the 22nd Annual CDF Sports Awards to recognise the outstanding achievements of students from primary and secondary schools across the Diocese.
A hundredth anniversary is always a special occasion, no more so than when the Parish of St Patrick’s, Port Kembla celebrated their centennial. It was a milestone that coincided with the opening and official blessing of the new building facilities at St Patrick’s Parish Primary School, Port Kembla.
Does music teach us good values? 'Social' media...is it? The changing face of Australia. 2018 – what would Jesus think?
These are some of the big issues tackled by Years 5 and 6 students this year for the annual CDF Diocesan Public Speaking competition.
Last week saw the culmination of school and regional rounds of the competition, where the top six students from Years 5 and 6 competed in the Diocesan grand final.
St John the Evangelist, Campbelltown student, Daniel Justin, has been recognised for his compassion, integrity and kindness with a national Fred Hollows Humanity Award.
Daniel was honoured at an award ceremony at NSW Parliament House in Sydney, after being nominated for his many good deeds in the school community and consistently treating others with kindness and respect.
After decades of conflict and internal struggles, the South-East Asian country of Myanmar is moving towards a new age of democracy. In a country where Christianity represents only 6% of the population, the Catholic Church has prioritised education as the key stepping stone to peace. As the nation moves into a more peaceful era, CEDoW has committed to raising awareness and providing financial support, to help heal and build a prosperous Myanmar.
As guests filed into the Grand Ballroom of the Novotel in Wollongong, the passion and dedication of the attendees was clearly evident - a group of the most outstanding and innovative staff working in the Diocese.
The winners of this year’s Lighting the Way Faith and Learning Recognition Awards were revealed at a formal dinner on Friday 16 November, acknowledging achievement and significant career milestones of dedicated individuals.
CEDoW has recently had the outstanding distinction of celebrating a 10-year milestone of the implementation of School-wide Positive Behaviours for Learning (SPB4L), in all twenty-nine Diocesan primary schools.
Over 280 students from five of our Illawarra schools have competed against hundreds of other Catholic school students from across NSW and the ACT in the 35th annual NSW Catholic Primary Schools Basketball Challenge (CPSBC).
The tournament - this year hosted by St Christopher’s, Panania - is one of the largest sporting tournaments for primary school students in NSW. The strong presence of the Diocese of Wollongong could not be missed, with St Paul’s, Albion Park; Stella Maris, Shellharbour; Nazareth, Shellharbour City; Ss Peter and Paul, Kiama; and St Brigid’s, Gwynneville taking 40 teams between them to play at venues across Bankstown, Menai, Sutherland and Riverwood.
A graduating student from each of our eight Diocesan Catholic secondary schools has been recognised for exemplifying the best of Catholic education at last night’s Bishop’s Student Excellence Awards at the Campbelltown Catholic Club.
Diocese of Wollongong Vicar-General, Fr. Bernard Gordon, presented the awards to the Year 12 students at a special afternoon ceremony in front of proud family members, teachers, principals, and senior leadership from the Catholic Education Office.
During Nude Food October and Enviroweek, two clever Year 6 students from St Columbkille’s, Corrimal won a national competition, earning a Nude Food Grant.
Saskia McIntyre and Emily Fenton recognised that there is too much packaging on food brought in from home by the students at their school and that by coming to school at least one day a week trash free with ‘nude food’, they could help beat plastic pollution and encourage their community to live more sustainably.
The opening meeting of the Director’s Student Advisory Council was held at Studio5 located within the Emmaus Catholic Education Centre in Macarthur. It was the first meeting of a newly formed council which aims to offer insight and guidance to CEDoW and School Leadership Teams.
St Joseph’s, Albion Park has used this year’s EnviroWeek to celebrate and further their fantastic efforts to build environmental awareness, action and a strong school spirit around caring for creation.
If the St George Illawarra Dragons are looking for a breeding ground of young talent, they need look no further than St Columbkille’s, Corrimal. The primary school has yet again nurtured their students’ NRL footy skills and teamwork to great success - this year coming away both the boys’ Rod Wishart Shield and girls’ Sam Bremner Shield.
A joint statement from CEDoW Director of Schools, Peter Turner, and the Executive of the Catholic Principals’ Association of the Diocese of Wollongong, in response to today's National Apology to the Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
How can we, as expert members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, investigate Australia’s relationship with Asian nations so that we can inform people about our diversity and persuade them to become more globally connected through our World Expo display? That was the driving question posed to Year 6 students at Stella Maris, Shellharbour, as part of their Term 3 Project-Based Learning (PBL) initiative.
Bunsen burners, crazy chemical reactions, liquid nitrogen experiments and making slime… it’s all the best parts of science on offer for students in the St Joseph’s, Albion Park Science Club. A place where mistakes are all learning opportunities and all learning opportunities are fun, the fortnightly get-together is keeping students excited, engaged and educated about the wonderful world of science.
Read more about the St Joseph's Science Club and hear from students directly via video.
mBots at the ready! School versus school, mate versus mate, it was game on for the regional rounds of CEDoW’s 2018 mBot Coding Competition. Students from Years 2 to 10 from across the Diocese have used the fun, competitive atmosphere as an opportunity to test out their coding abilities across a range of robotics challenges.
Teachers and school staff are warmly invited to come along to our DOW Spotlight on Technology 2018 event at the end of October to see a range of interesting panels, fun workshops, engaging presentations and more.
Technology • Science • Art • Making Things Happen!
Read on for details and more information on the two-day event (including a special evening event for parents).
While many take for granted the Queen’s Birthday public holiday as a chance to enjoy a long weekend, a Kindergarten student from Ss Peter and Paul, Kiama certainly did not.
Young Harry McInnes was amazed that he received a whole day off from school on Monday 11 June and wanted to know more about this holiday.
Catholic primary and secondary schools across the Diocese of Wollongong have creatively and generously raised funds and donated goods to the Vinnies Winter Appeal over the past several months to help those in need in our region this winter.
Our school communities have dug deep to make a significant difference to local families struggling this winter and beyond. They’ve held collection drives, sleepouts, pyjama days, ‘winter woolies’ mufti days and walkathons to raise over $15,000 dollars for local Vinnies conferences and donate several thousand much-needed essentials, including blankets, warm clothes, toiletries, canned goods and other food items.
CEDoW Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Education Professional Officer, Karan Taylor, is a remarkable Aboriginal Catholic woman. Starting as a parent sharing her Aboriginal cultural knowledge with her children’s classes to now leading a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education across the Diocese of Wollongong, Karan’s contribution to our Catholic education system and school communities has been immense.
In light of this year’s NAIDOC theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’, and Karan recently receiving a prestigious NATSICC (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council) Service to Community Award, we spoke to Karan about her life and work in a four-part audio interview here…
In a formidable coming-together of a school community, Good Samaritan Fairy Meadow students from Kindergarten to Year 6, former students, parents, grandparents and teachers have worked together to put on a spectacular stage performance of ‘Kids in Camelot’.
As we come to the end of a busy, and for some schools, exceptionally challenging Term, I take this opportunity to thank each of you for your work, and to wish you a safe and enjoyable break.
This week has witnessed the graduation of our Year 12 students across the Diocese.
In early Term 3, over a thousand Year 5 and 6 students started with a blank canvas for the Christmas Story Art Competition. Now, after weeks of reflection, planning and work with a range of art materials and techniques, 50 talented young artists have had their artworks selected and celebrated at CEDoW's 2018 Christmas Story Art Exhibition.
In a wonderful gesture of kindness, Year 4 student Beau Hart from Stella Maris, Shellharbour recently donated to the Vinnies Drought Appeal his valuable ice-cream container of savings for an upcoming holiday.
John Therry Rosemeadow student, Malek Malual, may be late bloomer in basketball circles but he has wasted little time making a big impression.
Malek, who only became interested in the sport four years ago, has been offered a USA basketball scholarship as a pathway to play in the NBA.
In inspiring and uplifting celebrations, over 1,500 students from Year 6 classrooms around the Diocese have gathered together as communities of faith with Bishop Brian Mascord to mark their final year of primary school.
The series of Year 6 Masses with the Bishop saw students, staff, clergy and guests from 30 school communities congregate in three regional clusters across the Diocese of Wollongong.
In a room full of optimism for the promise of the rich teaching careers lying ahead of them, 77 CEDoW staff have been officially acknowledged as Proficient Teachers by Director of Schools, Peter Turner, Catholic school principals and CEDoW leaders at the annual Accreditation Recognition Ceremony.
Through a wonderful series of events, St Paul’s, Moss Vale have recently celebrated their 70th anniversary and also, 130 years since the official blessing of St Paul's Parish Catholic Church. Students have prayed, painted, sung, danced and gone ‘back in time’ on a history walk – all marking this significant milestone in the life of their community.
There’s nothing like a shuffleboard table to bring some of Macarthur’s oldest and youngest folk together. Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan hosted Carrington Aged Care residents in an inaugural inter-generational shuffleboard competition on Tuesday.
Each Book Week, our Catholic schools come alive with costumes, characters, colour and creativity to celebrate Australian children’s literature.
At Holy Family, Ingleburn, students and staff wholeheartedly embrace the occasion of Book Week. The school uses the week in August to bring books to life in a distinctly engaging and memorable way - threading their book parade into an exciting Book Week performance that gets the whole school community involved.
As the HSC approaches and Year 12 currently complete their trials, it is hoped that many of our CEDoW students have been able to sit their Studies of Religion (SOR) exams with an enhancement of knowledge, after attending enrichment days focused on a range of SOR syllabus topics - from bioethics to Aboriginal Spirituality, presented by experienced facilitators.
Each year across Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) brings children and books together to celebrate Book Week. During this time, schools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and children collectively acknowledge Australian children's literature.
Book Week, a highlight on the school calendar, runs this year from Saturday 18 August to Friday 24 August, themed "find your treasure", to inspire the celebration of Australian children’s books and reading.
With only a cardboard tent held together with duct tape to call home for the night, Nicole Van Ingen, Principal of St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Milton, joined 30 CEOs from around the Illawarra to brave the cold and ‘sleep rough’ for a night in support of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
CEDoW has long been a supporter of the St Vincent de Paul Society and when the call went out inviting our school principals to be involved, Nicole did not hesitate to volunteer.
A final event to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan is fast approaching!
Principal, Matt McMahon is reaching out to all members of our CEDoW community to invite them to join in the festivities of their 'Return to Magdalene Day' this Saturday, 18th August.
For more details and to read Mr McMahon's message, read on.
Aligned with our Faith in Action guidelines, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong is heavily promoting and encouraging individual and school community support to be provided to the St Vincent de Paul Society’s - NSW major drought appeal in a coordinated approach, providing transparency about how our funding is being spent. Further, we are staying in close contact with Vinnies to determine and monitor local need for assistance required by families in our area.
NAIDOC Week is an important time in our Catholic schools, where we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Through liturgies, assemblies, presentations and learning activities, our schools have learned about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and acknowledged the significant history and presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the many regions of our Diocese.
Students from St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra have received a unique Indonesian cultural education that they will remember for a long time.
Indonesian Consul General Heru Subolo and wife, Madam Sinta Subolo, along with other special guests visited the school and took part in the day’s activities.
Students at St Benedict’s Catholic College, Oran Park have fundraised at their annual College Celebration Day a remarkable $8,000 for CatholicCare Wollongong, with the funds raised to be put towards the development of a program to support students and their parent/caregivers to navigate the challenges and harness the strengths of technology in their daily lives.
It is intended that the program will be built on evidence-based research and be tested for efficacy. Once established, it is hoped that the program will make a positive impact on the well-being of students throughout the Diocese and be a legacy of the goodwill and generosity of the St Benedict's school community.
Like many young girls, 11 year old Jade loved her long hair. Last week, it went all the way down past her elbows! But the St Patrick’s, Port Kembla student has since cut all her long locks off for a very good cause - to donate it to other children who have lost their hair due to illness.
Jade decided to get the big chop for charity and send her hair to Variety - the Children’s Charity’s ‘Hair with Heart’ program.
American mathematician, William Thurston, said: "The real satisfaction from mathematics is in learning from others and sharing with others". That’s what Year 7 and 8 students from Catholic secondary schools across the Diocese experienced at the recent Stage 4 Mathematics Enrichment Days.
Over 200 students from our systemic secondary schools attended the events - the first at the University of Wollongong (UOW) and the second at Western Sydney University (WSU).
Over 150 Year 6 students from Holy Family, Ingleburn; Mary Immaculate, Eagle Vale; and St Francis, Edmondson Park have been the first in the Diocese to participate in the Catholic Youth Ministry Wollongong team’s new ACTIVATE fire program.
Generously hosted by Holy Family, Ingleburn, in their new school hall, students from the three schools were all treated to a day-long immersive spiritual experience. A range of sessions were on offer throughout the morning and afternoon that included a mix of singing and prayer, discussion and reflection, games and workshops.
In a historic decision, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference endorsed the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) acknowledgment plaques for use in schools, parishes and organisations across Australia, making a strong statement of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The breadth and depth of St John the Evangelist, Nowra’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) talent was on clear display at the recent Shoalhaven Excellence in Vocational Education and Training Awards, with many students receiving recognition for their efforts both in and out of school.
A special congratulations to the Excellence in Vocational Education and Training ‘Student of the Year’ award recipients from St John's: Lauren Field (Hospitality Student of the Year) and Jack Flamminio (Construction Student of the Year).
Toumanda Fohrman has faced struggles coming to terms with her cultural identity as she’s grown up. But support from her mother and her Aboriginal community have empowered her to find confidence and strength in her Aboriginality.
Today, the Year 12 student from St Joseph’s, Albion Park, has aspirations to pursue a career where she can give back to her Aboriginal community and help others like her find their own purpose and sense of belonging.
In celebration of NAIDOC Week and this year’s theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’, we spoke to Toumanda about her journey in a three-part audio interview here...
Six years ago, Kylie McElhone was juggling being a wife and mother of two teenagers, a full-time career woman and university student, all while searching for crucial answers to her family history and cultural identity. She might have had her doubts, but with a strength, determination and a passion for learning that has characterised much of her life, she made it through with flying colours.
Today, her wealth of diverse professional and personal experience not only gives her an incredible life story, but powerful insight and empathy in her role within CEDoW’s Child Protection team.
In celebration of NAIDOC Week and this year’s theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’, we spoke to Kylie about her journey. Listen to our four-part audio interview with Kylie here...
With the HSC just over 3 months away, Year 12 students are being encouraged to use the upcoming holiday break to plan effectively for their exams.
The 2018 HSC Study Guide is designed to help students in that preparation, providing useful advice for students for this year's exams and 'surviving Year 12 and beyond'.
Read on for more information and a link to the guide.
Year 9 students at St John the Evangelist, Nowra have been given a valuable opportunity to immerse themselves in all things STEM for a day, taking on challenges designed to develop a range of useful science, technology, engineering and mathematics thinking and skills for their future.
Organised by the school, the day engaged over 160 students in four different STEM activities - each testing the students and exposing them to different STEM competencies.
Over 70 students from Catholic secondary schools across the Diocese have gathered together to participate in CEDoW’s Secondary Students Social Justice Forum.
The Year 9 and 10 students, many in social justice leadership positions at their schools, travelled to the Xavier Centre in Wollongong to discuss ideas and explore the themes around Catholic Social Teaching in contemporary society.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to meet a princess however former John Therry Rosemeadow student, Tennille Vitagliano, did just that when she was awarded the prestigious Crown Princess Mary Scholarship from the University of Copenhagen for her research in the field of immunology.
NAIDOC Week is an important time in our Catholic schools, where we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - and in particular this year, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
WATCH the Director’s NAIDOC Week video message and a video from students across the Diocese who pay tribute to the incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in our CEDoW community, inspired by this year's NAIDOC theme: Because of her, we can!
You may have had an ultrasound or X-ray, an MRI or CAT scan...but do you know the science behind how this medical imaging equipment works? That’s what Year 12 Physics students from Corpus Christi, Oak Flats visited Wollongong Hospital to find out.
The group toured the hospital’s range of imaging facilities in order to further their understanding of how physics is used in medicine every day to detect abnormalities in the human body and save lives.
On Friday 22 June, the community of St Thomas More, Ruse gathered at their parish church for a Mass to honour the feast day of their patron saint and to celebrate the school’s significant 40th anniversary. A much anticipated event, shared with students, staff, families (past and present) and parishioners, giving thanks for the last 40 years.
If you want the most accurate, up-to-date research and information around alcohol and others drugs, Paul Dillon is your man. Holy Spirit College, Bellambi and St Joseph’s, Albion Park were fortunate to host the founder and director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) this week as he worked with local students, parents and staff on a wide range of alcohol and other drug issues among young people.
Chloe Brown, from St Joseph’s, Albion Park, is preparing to take a once in a lifetime pilgrimage as one of 20 Year 10 and 11 students from across NSW to win a Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship that will see her touring the battlefields of the Western Front in Europe.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” - Matthew 18:20
Thousands of Year 12 students from fourteen of our systemic and congregational Catholic secondary schools across the Diocese have gathered together in this Year of Youth to share their thoughts and ideas, and get to know our newly-ordained Bishop Brian Mascord.
Today, 13 June 2018 is School Support Staff Day.
Along with our Bishop, I join with you in acknowledging the significant contributions of school support staff, each and every day across all our school communities.
If you can, please take time to thank them personally for their commitment and dedication in making our diocesan Catholic schools great, for every student, so that they can learn, grow and achieve in a safe and supportive environment.
From Helensburgh to Moss Vale, Unanderra to Ingleburn, our CEDoW schools have celebrated World Environment Day, encouraging awareness and positive action to protect our environment. Students have embraced this year’s theme, ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ in many effective and creative ways - a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time.
Bishop Brian Mascord, Director of Schools, Peter Turner, several senior CEO staff and other local dignitaries have joined the Mary Immaculate, Eagle Vale school community for the official opening and blessing of their new learning space. Comprising six classrooms, a large general learning area, several small breakout rooms and an outdoor learning area and garden, this new facility caters for twenty-first century learning and teaching in a growing school.
Congratulations to Holy Spirit College, Bellambi student, Mark Mancini, who has won an individual SILVER medal in Electrotechnology at the WorldSkills VETiS National Championships 2018 in Sydney over the weekend.
Each year National Reconciliation Week builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. It is a time for our CEDoW school communities to honour and learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can join the reconciliation journey.
One teaches one of the only Electrotechnology Certificate II Career Start courses available in our Diocese. The other is one of his students, excelling against those across Sydney to rise in the competition ranks. Now, both Marks from Holy Spirit College, Bellambi - Mr Hamlet and Mr Mancini - are off to the WorldSkills VETiS National Championships 2018 to battle it out with the best of the best in electrotechnology.
The school community of Holy Family, Ingleburn has gathered to celebrate the official opening of its new parish school hall. Joining them were many distinguished guests including Director of Schools, Peter Turner and Bishop Brian Mascord, who blessed the new facilities and unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion - the first under his leadership of the Diocese.
National Sorry Day falls this year on Saturday 26 May and is a day when we pause to remember the Stolen Generations of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It leads us into the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week, which is held each year between 27 May and 3 June.
The Stella Maris, Shellharbour school community is celebrating their 60th Anniversary with week-long plans, including the involvement of past and present students, staff, parents, and invited special guests.
“Full STEAM Ahead”, the catchy theme of the 2018 Mathematical Association of NSW (MANSW) Wollongong Cluster Biannual Conference, was held on Saturday 19 May at the University of Wollongong with over 100 educators in attendance.
Students from Ss Peter and Paul Kiama have proven themselves worthy competitors in their first year at the Australian Aeronautical Velocity Challenge (AAVC) - a competition designed to encourage STEM skills across all year levels and education sectors, by building rockets, planes and drones to complete various challenges.
For Nicole Van Ingen and her family, homelessness has a face and it’s personal. That face is the birth mother of their adopted son David, who has had to call the streets home for much of the last 10 years.
Students from Stella Maris, Shellharbour and Corpus Christi, Oak Flats have played a key role in designing the new and improved playground area at Little Park in Shellharbour Village - officially opened by Shellharbour City Council last week.
YMCA Youth Parliament is a unique program in which the best and brightest youth engage with national politics and present real bills to Parliament on issues that affect them. Youth Parliament is not just an exercise, since its beginning in 2002 over half a dozen pieces of YMCA NSW Youth Parliament youth legislation have been passed into NSW Law, including the recent Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.
Ciao dall’Italia! (Hello from Italy!)
Students from Holy Spirit College, Bellambi and St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park have enjoyed a trip together to Italy - touring the country, learning in an Italian school and even living with local Italian families - in a unique learning opportunity offered by the two Catholic schools.
The week-long inter-diocesan STEM challenge - Project Stay Afloat 2018 - has seen 1,700 students from over 60 classes in 30 schools across the Dioceses of Wollongong and Lismore use their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills to create in-class solutions to a global problem: rising sea levels.
Which Diocese of Wollongong school won the challenge?
Are you a student in Years 8-11? Enjoy creative writing? Have a passion for social justice, human rights and eco-justice? We have the competition for you! The Edmund Rice Centre invites you to take part in their 2018 Justice Literary Writing Competition.
See here for competition details, prizes and how to enter.
For details and to purchase tickets, continue reading.
Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
A celebration and immersion of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture provided a memorable experience for over 60 staff from across the Diocese at a recent CEDoW conference.
Guided by the theme, Reconciliation: Everyone’s Business, the two-day event saw Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Teacher Contacts and Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) from our schools, and other Catholic Education personnel gather at The Hermitage in Mittagong.
Community gathered on Sunday 15 April to pay their respects to the victims of the Appin Massacre at a memorial hosted by Winga Myamly Reconciliation Group, in remembrance of the massacre of Aboriginal people 202 years ago.
Grace Mulley, a Year 12 student at Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats, has won the prestigious Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award for 2018.
The Australian Bishops have put a call out to young Catholics to engage with the Church, celebrate and be celebrated in a declared ‘Year of Youth’. From the launch in Sydney to within our Catholic secondary schools since, Diocese of Wollongong students have responded in great numbers and even greater enthusiasm.
Lent has had a special meaning for staff and students at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Primary School, Rosemeadow this year, where the school community has focused its efforts on raising money for a non-profit school in Tanzania. Two of its teachers are travelling to the African nation in the upcoming school holidays to personally deliver the funds.
As a baby, Courtney Schonell chose to hold a hockey stick over a dummy. At age four, she picked up that stick to play. Six years later, she made her first national hockey team. Now, at 17 years old, Courtney has won the NSWCCC Vince Villa Award for most outstanding female athlete across all sports and is on track to represent Australia at the 2018 Youth Olympics.
From 12 to 31 March, hundreds of students from Magdalene Catholic High School, Narellan stepped up their cardio to take on the ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ global campaign, donating their physical exercise for a good cause.
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. For the St Mary Star of the Sea students and parishioners in Milton, their view of the Cross is complemented by rolling, green farmland surrounds, the sun shining down on a white church standing strong atop a hill. Behind it, a backdrop of beautiful southern NSW escarpment.
In this holy season of Easter, I convey my very best wishes to all involved in Catholic education right across our Diocese. I gratefully acknowledge the outstanding work you do in the service of our young people and our Catholic schools.
Over 80 students and staff involved in Youth Ministry at each of our diocese’s Catholic systemic secondary schools have gathered at Stanwell Tops to participate in the Youth Ministry Leaders Overnight Formation Retreat.
On Wednesday 21 March, Human Resource Services represented Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong at the University of Wollongong’s Education Careers Expo, where students and prospective employers came together to talk about potential career paths.
Bishop Emeritus Peter Ingham has delivered a humourous and heartfelt speech to over 500 guests from around the Diocese - including many from the Catholic Education community - gathered to celebrate and honour him at a Farewell Dinner at the Campbelltown Catholic Club.
As an international hockey umpire, Kylie Seymour gets to be close to the action without being the centre of attention - and that’s the way she prefers it. But being awarded the 'Campbelltown Woman of the Year 2018' has put the St Francis Catholic College teacher firmly in the spotlight.
A beautiful painting celebrating the richness of Aboriginal storytelling, culture and connection across the Diocese of Wollongong has been gifted to newly ordained Bishop Brian Mascord from CEDoW staff.