End of Term 2 Message

29 June 2023

Dear Colleagues, Parents, and Friends of Catholic education 

As we reach the half-way mark in the 2023 school year, I wish to acknowledge and thank our Principals, teachers, and staff in Catholic schools and offices across the State for your continued dedication and efforts throughout this year. 

This term student representatives from 25 secondary colleges and 75 primary schools in the Archdiocese of Perth gathered at Aranmore Catholic College and Newman College respectively for the Archbishop’s annual forum and LifeLink Days for primary and secondary schools.  

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB told primary school students about the purpose of LifeLink, and how the Church’s social service agencies supported by LifeLink respond to our brothers and sisters in need. He also spoke to secondary students about the importance of moving forward together as a people of Christ in ‘communion, mission and participation’. Events such as these highlight the spirit of Christian service which is alive in our school communities across the State. 

I was further reminded that Catholic schools continue to be thriving and engaged learning communities, in attending the Catholic School Advisory Council Chairs Conference earlier in June. This is the first time in two years the Conference has been held, with representatives of Advisory Councils travelling from near and far to take part in the day. Catholic School Advisory Councils are an important part of the successful and smooth running of a Catholic school, and I was encouraged to hear attendees found the networking and learning opportunities from the day beneficial. It was a particular privilege to host the event at Government House, where we were welcomed by the Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM, and heard from the Minister for Education, Dr Tony Buti MLA. 

This term also saw over 270 colleagues from our four Catholic Education Offices come together in Perth for our Staff Development Day where we reflected on the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s 2022-23 Social Justice Statement – Respect: Confronting violence and abuse. Attendees took part in workshops addressing important topics such as building positive relationships, respectful relationships through reconciliation and truth-telling. 

Looking ahead to Term Three, there is much to be excited about. Nominations for the QCE Awards, our annual celebration of the innovation and excellence that happens in our schools are now open. Winners will be announced at the annual Staff Breakfast held in October, where we will also celebrate staff who have contributed 30, 40, and 50 years’ service to Catholic education in Western Australia.  

Term Three also sees the return of the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival which opens with the Praise and Worship Ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral on 20 July.  The Festival runs for nearly two months, ending with the Festival Concert on 11 September. Other highlights of the Catholic Arts calendar include the Angelico Art Exhibition held in August, and a number of choral, dance and drama performances. Many hours of practice and rehearsal go into these performances so I encourage you to support our students as they share their creative talents. 

In October, CEWA is hosting the National School Improvement Colloquium which will bring together leaders working across Catholic education in Australia to consider opportunities and issues relevant to school improvement in Catholic education into the future. I encourage all our leaders to consider submitting abstracts for the Colloquium. You can find out more here.   

World Youth Day is a significant gathering of young people from across the globe.  A doxen CEWA early career teachers will join the Archdiocese of Perth youth celebrating what it is to be a Catholic today in Lisbon, Portugal.  Prior to meeting in Lisbon, the CEWA pilgrims will walk the Tui to Santiago de Compostela.  We wish these CEWA staff a buen camino. 

Finally, next term sees the return of the Leaders’ Forum Roadshow being hosted by 10 schools across the State. These roadshow events offer leaders both in schools and our offices a chance to consider some of the big, strategic issues and opportunities in Catholic education.  

I wish you a safe and restful school holiday with family and loved ones.  

Yours sincerely   

Dr Debra Sayce
Executive Director 
Catholic Education WA 

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