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On Friday October 27, Trinity College Colac marked Founders’ Day in a unique and wonderful way, bringing together members of the school and parish community, past and present in celebration and thanksgiving. Fifty years as Trinity College is a milestone to celebrate.

Coinciding with the Jubilee and Founders’ Day was the opening of new facilities at Trinity College; the Jubilee Centre for performing arts and the multi-function synthetic oval. Opening these new facilities on Founders’ Day brought home to everyone the debt of gratitude we owe to those who came before us with a vision for Catholic secondary education in Colac: the parish, the Mercy Sisters and the Christian Brothers.

Br Clem Barrett cfc, former Principal, shared with students how valued education is for the students of Sinon school, Arusha in Tanzania, where he has worked for many years. Most of the 1,500 students board at school because their homes, overcrowded mud huts, have no electricity, little furniture and no privacy. With no text books, in classes of 60, students rise at 4.00 am to study before class and study several hours after class to succeed. This is the ‘education for liberation’ Edmund Rice worked to build – liberation from poverty and oppression, liberation for meaningful work and social leadership. Br Clem talked of the value of education for girls, who could be traded for a cow or married off as child brides in Tanzania. Catherine McAuley envisioned the power of educating girls to break the poverty cycle and create opportunities for fulfilling and purposeful careers. Our students are contributing to help that happen through their Walkathon on Founders’ Day.

Trinity students benefit greatly from the passion of our founders for quality Catholic education. In turn, Founders’ Day gave them the opportunity to help in this great work through their Walkathon. Finding sponsors and making the effort to walk and run laps has given them the ability to make a difference in the education of Tanzanian students in Arusha – both at Christian Brothers Sinon School and St Jude’s School. Sinon School has a quarter of their students on full scholarships and St Jude’s only teach the poorest of the poor who pass an academic test and a “poverty” test.

The Commissioning of Student Leaders ceremony was part of our Founders’ Day Prayer Service this year and was a moving ceremony in which the 2017 leaders inducted the 2018 leaders, through a series of challenging questions in the presence of students, staff and parents. They were asked if they were committed to the servant leadership model of Jesus, the call to social justice envisioned by our founders and the values of our school community. Their responses were strong and a very positive symbol of a fresh, young group eager to do their best. Fr Michael O’Toole and Principal Tim O’Farrell presented them with leadership badges, indicating their particular roles. Our 2017 leaders were warmly thanked by the student body as Mr O’Farrell farewelled them with a blessing. The 2018 College leaders led the prayers and readings for the prayer service, establishing themselves as the new leaders of students.

Other activities on Founders’ Day included; drone footage of a huge 50 on the oval with students and staff – a living symbol of all that has been and is today – and various social justice awareness raising activities. Past students talked to the senior classes about their voluntary work with the Eddie Rice Camps and were delighted with the very positive response with several students readily committing their time to be part of this social justice initiative.

Founders’ Day this year, the Golden Anniversary of Trinity College, brought together an appreciation for our rich history as a College, a determination to remain committed to compassion, justice, mercy and hospitality though deeds, not words, and an excitement for the possibilities ahead, now that we have such wonderful new facilities.


The first concert in the Jubilee Centre was held on the evening of Saturday, October 28 where Trinity’s new grand piano was unveiled, and the book outlining the history of Trinity College, Looking Back by Helen Paatsch OA, was launched by Richard Riordan MP. The concert that followed was well beyond expectations with comical comperes, brilliant singers and performers that captivated the audience. The sound system and light show highlighted the theatre brilliantly and provided great insight into future events involving performing arts in the Jubilee Centre. The standard of the concert was first class with performances from past students who have pursued successful careers in the performance industry.

On Sunday, October 28, a Mass focussing on Trinity’s Jubilee was celebrated at St Mary’s in Colac and was attended by past and present students, parents and friends and visitors.   After Mass, Trinity College was opened to the public to view with luncheon and music provided all day. An official welcome saw guest speakers Terry Mulder MP, Br Clem Barrett and Deputy Principal Mrs Cheryl Pefanis, give unique insights into the history of Trinity College.


October 27 also saw another milestone for Trinity College with the official opening of both the new Jubilee Centre and Multi-Function Synthetic Oval. These new facilities form part of the College’s current master plan to construct facilities of excellence. Trinity’s new multi-million dollar facilities were entirely self-funded by the College and its community to ensure that the school continues to provide contemporary learning environments. Trinity College has over 750 students from Years 7 to 12 who will be able to benefit from state-of-the-art facilities including:

Jubilee Centre for performing arts:

  • 312 seat multi-function theatre with retractable seating.  Theatre with full stage facilities including audio visual connectivity throughout the facility;
  • 5 music tutorial rooms;
  • 1 recording studio;
  • Staff room with capacity for 6;
  • 2 drama rooms that can convert to a small performing arts spaces;
  • Architecturally designed foyer with mezzanine balcony as well as ticket booth and catering area;
  • Audio visual control room;
  • Change rooms and storage facilities for productions;
  • Designed by Morton Dunn Architects;
  • Built by local Colac builders BDH Constructions Pty Ltd;
  • Seating was installed by Maxwood Technologies;
  • Marshell Day Theatre Consultants were engaged in the design process to further ensure that the Jubilee Centre provides 21st century learning.

Multi-Function Synthetic Oval:

  • FIFA standard synthetic oval supporting soccer, AFL, basketball, softball and hockey;
  • 40mm synthetic grass oval with a sand and rubber infill that closely resembles the performance of natural turf;
  • 8 lane, 400m rubberised running track constructed to absorb impact;
  • Soccer goals imported from Harrords in London specifically weighted, constructed and installed on-site to Australian standards;
  • Constructed by Tuff Turf Pty Ltd and overseen by Morton Dunn Architects.

The state-of-the-art multi-function oval joins a limited number of similar facilities in Western Victoria and features an efficient drainage system enabling return to play just half an hour after rain. Wet weather conditions are common in Colac and the new facility will be available for use throughout the year.

Trinity College Colac’s Principal, Tim O’Farrell, is thrilled with the opportunities facilities like these can bring to the College, “It is wonderful to provide our students with customised learning spaces to support both the performing arts and sporting endeavours in the school. To be able to use the multi-function aspects of both these facilities for many different school based activities is a true achievement in their design and the College’s master planning process.”