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.
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 Catholic High School, 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 Catholic High School, 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!
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.
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.
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 1,000 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 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.
St Brigid's, Gwynneville and Catholic schools all across the Diocese of Wollongong have opened their doors to families, friends and community members for Catholic Schools Week 2018.
More than 200 Year 6 students from schools St Paul’s Albion Park, Ss Peter and Paul Kiama, Stella Maris Shellharbour and Nazareth Shellharbour City came together on Friday 9 March for their annual Southern Illawarra Catholic Schools' (SICS) Leaders Day.
Catholic schools across the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands joined together to thank Bishop Peter for his great work and dedication to Catholic education in our Diocese.
On Monday 22 January, 6 newly appointed Principals were formally welcomed to the significant role of Principalship at a System Orientation Day, where they met with members of the organisation’s Leadership Team and Human Resource Services.
The reviewed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy was released 20 October 2017 at a gathering of educators, school leaders and Aboriginal Elders and community members.
7 year old Matthew, a Year 2 student at St John the Evangelist Catholic Primary School in Campbelltown, has taken out FIRST PRIZE in the ICAS English Competition.
Hundreds gathered in Campbelltown last night for CEDoW's inaugural Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards - a fantastic evening of celebration, affirmation and acknowledgement of the significant contributions of our staff in schools and across Catholic Education in the Diocese of Wollongong.
A special part of the 2017 Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards Evening was the conferral of the Professional Practice Awards. These awards acknowledged the outstanding achievement and efforts of five individual staff members who, in the course of their work and study, have been exemplary in a particular area of educational endeavour.
It is evident that Colleen Easton is a woman of deep faith. In a career spanning over forty years in Catholic Education in the Diocese of Wollongong, Colleen has consistently displayed a deep commitment, loyalty and devotion to honouring her call as a spiritual, faith and educational leader. So it was only fitting that the St Paul's Albion Park Principal receive the most prestigious award of CEDoW's Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards Evening - the Lighting the Way Award.
Congratulations to Stella Maris, Shellharbour's Siobhan Rooney and St Joseph's, Albion Park's Zachary Ellul for winning CEDoW's inaugural Outstanding Early Career Teacher Awards at the 2017 Lighting the Way Faith and Learning Awards Evening.
The best and brightest of our Diocese's Catholic students have today been awarded the Bishop of Wollongong's Student Excellence Awards. Students and their families, principals and other CEDoW staff gathered together with Bishop Peter Ingham and Director of Schools, Peter Turner, to celebrate the outstanding achievements of these young men and women.
CEDoW VET students have successfully participated in the WorldSkills Australia Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) Regional Competitions across several skills categories during October and November.
St Pius X Unanderra have been working on the installation of a mural, composed of plastic bags woven into a pre-existing chain link fence. This creative re-use of plastic bags, speaks directly to Pope Francis’ call to alter the contemporary ‘throwaway culture’ (Laudato Si, 22).
The Environment Club at St Joseph’s Albion Park, now called the War on Waste (WOW) Club has been working hard this year to reduce the amount of waste the school is sending to landfill by introducing recycling to the school.
The second annual 'Deadly Encouragement Awards' were held on October 19 at Waniora Public School, recognising Indigenous students in the Northern Illawarra region, who consistently apply effort in all areas of their schooling.
Students from St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, joined 800 other choristers from 23 schools, and an 80-piece symphony orchestra, in CELEBRATION SING OUT! at the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday.
Corpus Christi Catholic High School performed their first school musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Roo Theatre in August. The production featured 40 students from years 7 to 10.
The Stage 3 Christmas Story Art competition and exhibition provides an opportunity for our Diocese of Wollongong students to reflect upon their understanding and interpretation of the Scripture of Advent and Christmas.
Last Thursday, more than 50 young artists gathered together with family, teachers and other Catholic Education staff, to celebrate the opening of this special event at the Wollongong City Art Gallery.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong and the St Vincent De Paul Society have enjoyed a longstanding relationship, working collaboratively to support the marginalised and socially disadvantaged within our community.
During Term 3, St Pius X Unanderra have been fortunate to have Dragons U20 NYC players from the 'Dragons Community' program, come out to their school to to work with them on building the vital skill of resilience.
On Wednesday 9 August, Human Resource Services hosted the inaugural Teacher Accreditation Recognition Awards at the Campbelltown Catholic Club, a new initiative under the Diocese’s Rewards and Recognition Program, acknowledging the achievement of our teachers who have gained significant milestones in their teaching careers - Proficient and Lead Teacher Accreditation.
Green thumbs from all over Australia came together to help celebrate Planet Ark’s 22nd National Tree Day 2017, resulting in up to one million natives being planted over 3000 sites.
Congratulations to JORDAN DORIS of Year 12 at Mount Carmel Catholic College, for his exceptional performance in representing his country at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Congratulations to Year 12 students from St John's Nowra, who took out the 'Student of the Year' award in three categories, as well as Shoalhaven VET Student of the Year, at the annual Shoalhaven Schools Excellence in VET Awards recently.
STEM is a cross-disciplinary approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM learning engages students in authentic, real-world learning experiences where they develop the skills to work collaboratively and independently to solve problems.
Tomorrow, the 14th June 2017 is World School Support Staff Day. Along with our Bishop, I join with you in celebrating the significant contributions of school support staff, each and every day in our school communities.
We are pleased to present a fresh and meaningful approach to the way the outstanding achievements and career milestones of our committed and dedicated staff, in schools and in the Catholic Education Office, are celebrated.
On World Environment Day, we invite you to perhaps re-think the way you indulge in your daily coffee ritual and choose a more environmentally friendly option to having your caffeine fix.
Four newly appointed principals in 2017, were warmly welcomed by staff, students and families within their school communities, and by fellow staff across the Diocese at the Education Mass in Catholic Schools Week.
Students represented their schools and families at ANZAC ceremonies all over the diocese on Tuesday. It is wonderful to see so many students with a deep respect and understanding of the importance of respect and acknowledgement for the servicemen and women of our country, and sacrifices of past, present and those yet to come.
Mr Chris Whicker, Administration Coordinator at Magdalene Catholic High School, was recently presented with the Duke of Edinburgh Medal of Recognition for his Long Service to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival organisers today announced preparations are well underway for the event that will draw 15,000 young people to Sydney from 7-9 December this year.
The festival will be held in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct and culminate with a closing mass at the Domain.
World Earth Hour Day is coming up on Saturday the 25th of March at 8.30pm. In 2017, schools and the Catholic Education Office are invited to celebrate Earth Hour on Earth Hour Schools Day, Friday 24th March.
On Friday 18 November the Diocesan Sports Council staged the 20th Annual CDF Sports Awards to recognise the outstanding achievements of students from primary and secondary schools across the Diocese.
In2Uni is an outreach initiative by the University of Wollongong (UOW), which aims to build in students, aspirations and awareness toward higher education, while fostering a culture of lifelong learning and engagement with education. Learning Labs, a school holiday workshop program for gifted and talented students in Years 1-10, targets students performing in the top 10-15% in their area of interest.
Catholic primary school students from across the Diocese have again produced stunning works of art for the annual Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition.
Some wonderful results from CEDOW students at the recent NSWCCC Championships at Homebush. Congratulations to all students who represented Mackillop, to all place getters and to the following students for their outstanding performances.
2016 has been a huge year for the community of St Pius X, taking an active role in caring for our common home. Pope Francis’ Laudato Si inspired the students and staff to do more to our already beautiful school environment to ensure that all the wonders of creation are around for future generations. We felt improvements were needed, not only to the appearance of some areas of our school grounds, but in the way we educate others, so they too are empowered with the knowledge that they can make a difference!