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The Catholic Schools Office (CSO), is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of systemic schools which educate more than 18,000 students in 44 Primary schools, 10 Secondary schools and one K-12 school in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

 

The CSO employs more than 1200 teachers and around 550 support staff. Our main focus is providing support for schools to ensure each student receives a quality education and has the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

 

Catholic schools seek to develop spirit, mind, body and character and to cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope in the future. 

As a Catholic Schools Office, we model ourselves on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels and through the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

We invite you to look around our website, become familiar with the uniqueness of Catholic education, your local Catholic school, the many initiatives offered and why we believe Catholic education is the right choice to make.

03

SEP

We are in Week 8 of Term 3.

There are 16 days until the end of Term 3, 2014 (19/09/2014).

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Celebrating our Heritage

Monday 01 September 2014

Yesterday, my wife Annette and I attended the 15th Annual Commemoration of the Irish Famine Memorial at Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney. The memorial includes the names of many of the young women brought to Australia under the Irish Famine Orphan Migration Scheme between 1848 and 1850.

 

Annette’s Great-Great Grandmother, Bridget Fahey, was one of these orphans.


It was a very moving day highlighted by a speech given by the former Irish Ambassador to Australia, Richard O’Brien, now a resident of our country. Another highlight of the day was the launch of a new CD featuring the song “Orphan Girl”, written by Irish songwriter Brendan Graham and performed by Sarah Calderwood and the Australian Girls’ Choir. Brendan is well known as the writer of the very popular song “You Raise Me Up” and is himself the author of a number of books documenting the history of the Irish people and the Great Famine in Ireland.


In his speech Richard O’Brien highlighted the importance of remembering our history and celebrating the various events that have featured in this history. Included in his speech was the rich history of the Irish people in Australia and in this diocese in particular there is such a rich Irish history.


He spoke about how our history and culture makes us who we are, it gives us our identity. Recognising and acknowledging our history informs our way of living and inspires us in our future endeavours as well as influencing our values and the causes that we relate to and support. The Irish Famine Commemorative Committee, for example, is committed to several outreach programs which include assisting refugees with the challenges they face when resettling in Australia as well as supporting the education of female refugees and contributing to relief efforts in countries affected by famine.


As I sat and listened to Richard’ speech, I couldn’t help but think of the diverse history not only of our diocese but of our country and how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate the history of the people who make up our land.


The first of these is the history of our Aboriginal people, the first inhabitants of our land. I have often reflected in the past on my own knowledge of and experience in learning about Aboriginal people. In my school days we mainly learnt of the Aboriginal people who were helpful and subservient to the white people who endeavoured to explore and settle the land they called Australia. It was much later in my education, when studying Australian History at university, that I became aware of the true history of Aboriginal people and the hardships that were inflicted upon them by the governments of the various colonies and settlers. Thankfully today, telling the true story of Aboriginal history is a component of every history course.


At the same time it is also important to tell of the various migrations that have occurred in Australia over the last 200 years and to celebrate the contributions the various nationalities have made to what is considered in many quarters to be the most successful multi-cultural country in the world.


We are indeed a lucky country to have so many different cultures merge in the one place, with each of them making a contribution in various ways to the nature of our country.


It was very easy for Annette and me, with a strong Irish heritage, to be emotionally moved by Sunday’s commemoration. I hope that all of the people of this great country have the opportunity to reflect on their individual stories and the contribution their cultures have made in enabling us all to learn and appreciate the beauty of each culture's richness and diversity.

 

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What's On

10

Sep

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

CatholicCare, 50 Crebert Street, Mayfield.

19

Sep

End of Term 3, 2014

19 September 2014

07

Oct

Start of Term 4, 2014

07 October 2014

08

Oct

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

Corcoran Centre, George St, Morpeth.

12

Nov

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

St James' PS, Skellatar St, Muswellbrook.

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