Celebration for Service to Catholic Education

The Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Ltd (DOBCEL) understands the importance of recognising and celebrating outstanding service and leadership in the diocesan education community.  To this end, DOBCEL  was delighted to recognise and celebrate 30 years of dedicated service to Catholic Education for twenty eight staff from across the diocese at a celebratory dinner on Friday, May 14.  Complementing the celebration of these educators, DOBCEL also recognises leadership that reflects one or more aspects of the Diocesan Education Vision through the Diocesan Leadership Awards.

The vision states that, as partners in Catholic education and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all, so three awards that align to the Vision are given to several gifted educators who inspire and engage and give daily witness to this Vision. The contribution and dedication of all these staff has played an important part towards shaping the lives of our future generations and will resonate positively for many years to come.  As we work together in partnership to achieve our vision of pursuing fullness of life for all in God’s presence, we acknowledge their contribution to the partnerships between families, schools, parishes, local communities and DOBCEL.

The 30 year award recipients were:

Terry Brennan – St Augustine’s PS, Creswick Carmel McCormick – Catholic Education Ballarat
Matthew Byrne – Damascus College, Mount Clear Kate Nunn – St Mary’s PS, Sea Lake
Patricia Caldow – St Thomas More PS, Alfredton Sonia Opie – St Joseph’s College, Mildura
Lisa Donovan – St Patrick’s PS, Camperdown Suzanne Prendergast – St Brendan’s PS, Dunnstown
Cleta Forrest – St Columba’s PS, Ballarat North John Richards – St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Olga Fox – St Francis Xavier PS, Ballarat East Sandra Rosenow – Loreto College, Ballarat
Maria Grace – Lumen Christi PS, Delacombe Tom Sexton – Catholic Education Ballarat
Caroline Grist – Trinity College, Colac Leesa Sharkey – Trinity College, Colac
Anthony Haley – St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill Jennifer Stapleton – St Colman’s PS, Mortlake
Marie Harney – Our Lady Help of Christians PS, Warrnambool East Graeme Stewart – Trinity College, Colac
Clare Kavanagh – St Patrick’s College, Ballarat Matthew Summers – Marian College, Ararat
Anne Kerr – St Pius X PS, Warrnambool West Cait Wilson – St Mary’s PS, Colac
Mark Leary – St Mary MacKillop College, Swan Hill Therese Winter – St Brigid’s PS, Ballan
Margaret Lyttle – St Francis Xavier PS, Ballarat East Sharen Wolfe – Damascus College, Mount Clear

The Award booklet is available to download here.

Diocesan Leadership Awards

The 2021 Diocesan Leadership Awards were presented to three outstanding educators in our community at a celebratory dinner on Friday, May 14. These awards recognise the exemplary service, leadership and innovation of each awardee, and are an acknowledgement of their demonstration of one or more aspects of the Diocesan Education Vision.

The Partnership Award

  • For commitment to and facilitation of partnerships within the education, parish, diocese and/or the local community that enhance learning for students;
  • For ongoing witness to partnership in Catholic education and active presence in the education, parish, diocesan and/or local community;
  • For promotion of Catholic education as partnership in local and/or extended community.

Recipient: The Corinthian Project Team

COVID-19 provided many educational challenges in 2020, not the least being the adaptations needed for remote learning. The Corinthian Project offered a focused, coordinated and collegial plan for schools working in a remote learning environment.

This project invited educators to question their practice, to work collaboratively in the shared mission of the Church, and to give of their wisdom and experience for the betterment of the wider diocesan education community. It began as an answer to the challenges presented by remote learning, but will continue to provide a sense of community engagement for teachers in Catholic primary schools in our diocese. The presentation of this award to the Corinthian Project Team recognises the many educators from across the diocese who were behind the inception, promotion and facilitation of this initiative.

The Catholic Leadership Award

  • For leadership that provides active witness to God’s presence in the education, parish and/or diocesan community and that enhances the education community’s Catholic identity
  • For excellence in leadership around Religious Education, spirituality, liturgy, religious art, social justice, the founding charism, evangelization and/or ecology

Recipient: Eileen Rice, Principal of St Alipius Primary School, Ballarat

As principal of St Alipius Parish School, Ballarat East, Eileen consistently provides active witness to her faith through her authentic leadership and promotion of inclusive practices. She will respectfully challenge concepts or ideas and will stretch people’s thinking to enable a broader and deeply considered perspective on important matters, always grounded in and faithful to the Catholic ethos that underpins the school. For her, relationships within and across the school community underpin the true meaning of “Catholic”, an openness to and invitation in to God’s presence.

The Fullness of Life Award

  • For leadership that leads to fullness of life for colleagues and/or students
  • For excellence in education, staff formation or professional learning, student learning and/or educational innovation
  • For demonstrated commitment to evidence-based practice in education

Recipient: Cheryl Pefanis, Deputy Principal of Trinity College, Colac

Cheryl is an outstanding educator and leader in the Trinity College, Colac community. Cheryl’s service and commitment to others achieving fullness of life was particularly noted during the period of remote learning last year. Trinity College and the town of Colac was impacted significantly as a result of COVID-19 and it was at this time that Cheryl’s care shone. She kept the community updated and informed and provided pastoral care to staff, students and their families, while supporting a newly appointed principal to the school. This award recognises the abundance of life promised through the mission of Christ and it is for her willingness to ensure others are cared for, even if this is at a personal cost to her, that makes Cheryl a worthy recipient.

L-R: Cheryl Pefanis, Josh McElgunn (representing the Corinthian Project), Eileen Rice, Tom Sexton (Executive Director of Catholic Education)

First appeared on the DOBCEL website