New Principal at Loreto Ballarat

Following the retirement of Loreto College’s longest serving Principal, Judith Potter, at the end of Term 2, Loreto College warmly welcomes newly appointed Principal, Michelle Brodrick.

Michelle Brodrick is the 31st Loreto College Principal/ Head Mistress since it first opened in 1875 and looks forward to meeting parents and carers, families, staff and the extended Loreto and Ballarat Diocese community, albeit through limited opportunities this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Michelle is no stranger to Ballarat, having grown up in St Arnaud and attending university at Aquinas College before commencing her career in Catholic education in Yarrawonga and Seto, Japan. Michelle’s previous two appointments were in Geelong as Assistant Principal at Clonard College, an all-girls school and St Joseph’s College, an all-boys school where she was Deputy Principal.

Michelle first experienced Loreto College whilst at university on teaching rounds and has always admired Ballarat and the College from afar. Her impressive career has been filled with reward and challenges, raising two children with her husband whilst also completing a Master in Education and a Masters of Business Administration Executive.

“It’s been a while since I lived here and it’s wonderful to be back. I have seen the growth and development that has taken place and is continuing to take place as Ballarat firmly establishes itself as a city of choice for many Victorians,” Michelle shared.

“Loreto College has established itself as a leading Catholic school for girls. It enables its students to develop in self-confidence, creativity and courage and fosters a compassionate and generous spirit amongst the students. I am very honoured and excited to be continuing in the footsteps of many strong and inspirational women who have had the privilege of being a part of Loreto College Ballarat.”

Michelle sees great challenge and opportunity in the current climate in which she takes over the helm of the College. In what would have taken years to plan, schools have had to do in days and weeks. Despite this they have adapted and have shown that they can learn to do things differently, be innovative and agile. Michelle has seen students become more responsible for their learning and also come to learn that they have agency in all of this.

“We have seen disruption and change like never before in education where in an incredibly short period students, staff and families have had to adapt. When we are faced with such adversity, we are challenged to act differently and to think differently. Mother Gonzaga Barry (founder of Loreto schools in Australia) certainly knew how to deal with challenges and she seemed to instinctively anticipate the needs of her time.”

“One of the most pressing needs is our ongoing obligation to be looking out for each other – our class members and friends, our teachers, our staff, our families and community. We know that many people have been struggling and we have to be even more compassionate towards and considerate of others.”

Since her appointment, Michelle has been overwhelmed by the sense of pride and value in a Loreto education that has been expressed to her by all she meets and looks forward to overseeing the future plans for the College.

“We should all be proud that we are a part of the great history of Loreto College Ballarat.”