This week we celebrate Catholic Education Week and the significant milestone of Catholic education in Queensland for the past 175 years.
I am always mindful of the very humble beginnings of Catholic education in Queensland. The Brothers, Fathers and Sisters of the many religious orders joined with lay staff to provide a Catholic education to the working-class children of families. It was very different times to what we experience today as demonstrated from the story below from the archives of Villanova College.
“…In February 1951, I began my first term at Villanova College, Whinstanes. Yes, the grounds were beautiful to look at. There was the entrance, coolly shaded by overhanging trees; the tennis court bordered the road and the drive swept up in a dignified curve to the stately house, formerly, I heard since, the home of the Webster family. “This is good!” thought I, excitedly. Some other boys joined me – they knew their way around, and guided me past the stately entrance, past the building, and towards some wooden shacks over in the corner. “Bicycle sheds, or clock rooms,” I said to myself. But no! These were the classrooms.”
Today our students enjoy a very different learning environment with contemporary classrooms and digital tools. What must stay the same is the passion our educators have for developing good young men in a faith community.
Setting Our Future
Over the past 12 months the College in partnership with the College Board has developed the strategic plan for the next three years 2021- 2023. Setting Our Future is the title of the strategic plan document and I encourage parents and other community members to read the document – available via the following link.
Setting Our Future details the initiatives the College will undertake over the next three years to respond to a challenging and changing landscape in education. We will continue to strive to live out our mission as a Catholic College in the Augustinian tradition and in doing so respond to the needs of our students and families as we prepare for the demands of the 21st century.
Four key pillars underpin the strategic plan and these four pillars have been deliberately and purposefully selected to drive our future direction. The four pillars are shown below.
- Augustinian Identity and Mission
- Transforming Teaching and Learning
- Student Wellbeing
The Setting Our Future document, in setting our future direction is accompanied by the College annual Action Plan and the College’s Master Plan. In collaboration, these three documents provide the detail for our development now and into the future.
COVID-19 has shown all organisations the need to be flexible and agile. The world of work, business and even schooling have all been impacted by the pandemic. We are seeing the potential for a major change with workers selecting to work from home, meetings held in virtual boardrooms and Parent-Teacher Conferences held through online platforms.
In all this change and uncertainty, we need to mindful of what is important to us. Our connection with our students, families and the wider community is central to who we are as Villanova College. We value dearly our belonging to a community with the common purpose of raising fine young men.
On Saturday 15 August, Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane will celebrate the ordination of Peter Lê Tuấn Anh, OSA to the Holy Order of Deaconate at St James Parish Church, Coorparoo. We keep Br Tuan Anh is our prayers and thoughts at this special time as he prepares to serve God and the community.
You have made us for Yourself O Lord
And our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
Mr Mark Stower, Principal