Issue 282 -  5th October 2021

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Dear colleagues,

Welcome back to Term 4.  I hope that the spring vacation allowed you time not only for rest and recuperation after a particularly demanding Term 3, but also for reconnecting with family and friends during a year which has meant that time together has been limited by lockdowns once again. While the return to lockdown in Gunnedah reminds us that this pandemic continues to impact the lives of so many, we pray and remain hopeful that we are drawing ever closer to a return to normal life. While we are keen for this to happen, let’s not forget that others in the world have lived their entire lives never knowing the freedoms that we took for granted prior to COVID-19.


My thanks to Kate Kenny who has continued to keep us informed of the updates regarding COVID requirements. We expect that additional correspondence regarding the Public Health Order—which applies to all school staff—will be available very soon. This information will be distributed as soon as it is to hand.


Last week I was excited to inform our past Manager of Indigenous Education (K-12)—Sharon Cooke— that she has been awarded the ACEL Cynthia Briggs Award for Empowerment Through Education. Sharon’s impressive dedication to and leadership of Indigenous education in our system of schools makes her a very worthy recipient of this award.


I was also pleased to receive the news that I have been awarded the national ACEL Leadership Award and the ACEL William Walker Award. These awards are a recognition of the outstanding work of all staff across our system of schools to bring about improvements to students’ faith and learning outcomes. My thanks to all of you for your support in bringing this important vision to fruition. I am continually inspired that we now live this culture of improvement within the context of a Catholic Professional Learning Community, and I continue to look forward to the next chapter of our improvement journey.


Term 4 is notoriously busy but I know that you will continue to be of support to your colleagues as we work together to ensure our students have an engaging conclusion to this school year.


Thank you for all that you do every day,

Chris Smyth
Director of Schools

Monday was the feast of St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) one the best-loved of all the Church’s saints. One of Francis’s characteristics was his being a person of deep  joy.  By contrast, over the weekend I heard someone described this way; “He’s a great bloke, a marvellous worker, but no-one ever taught him to smile”. 


How about you and I; are we joy-bringers? 


The teacher we see here is clearly a joyful person. She appreciates  the value of spreading joy. She knows the difference an atmosphere of joy can bring to work— in this case the work of learning and teaching. What a marvellous positive influence on her students and, one expects, on their parents and on her colleagues! While physical contact with students is not part of our way of engaging with students, that doesn’t mean we can’t use other ways to share joy with them and with all we meet.


May joy be a big part of all our lives; may our spreading of joy do great good for those we meet and for ourselves.

Gerard Hore (EO: Catholic Life) & 

Vicki Hartley (Head of Projects / Professional Officer to the Director) who discovered the clip.

View the CSO Calendar

Working With Children Check Extended For Three Months

The Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG)  has advised that working with children checks due to expire between 27 September 2021 and 26 January 2021 have been extended for three months, this extension does not apply to those previously extended in July 2021. 

Anyone granted an extension will be advised by email from the OCG.

(Leanne Woods)

Congratulations to our Outstanding Educators

Congratulations to two of our diocesan leaders for their success at the ACE/ACEL awards for 2021.

Chris Smyth, the Director of Schools has won both the ACEL National Leadership Award and the William Walker award. 

Sharon Cooke, the Former Manager Indigenous Education has won Cynthia Briggs Award for empowerment through education. 

(Gary Burdett)

Plenary Council - General Assembly at last!

The First General Assembly of the 5th Plenary Council of the Church in Australia is under way, a year later than first envisaged. Most of the 280 members are attending by virtual means. This phase lasts only one week, till 10 October. 

Our Diocese’s Plenary Council members are Bishop Michael Kennedy, Monsignor Ted Wilkes VG, Ms Alison Hamilton of Somerton and Mr John Bishton of Bingara.
You can learn more about the Plenary Council here.
(Gerard Hore)

7 October: Big Day for Diocese

The Diocese of Armidale has as its patron Mary the mother of Jesus under the title Our Lady of the Rosary. The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated each year on 7 October. This Thursday would be a good day for our school communities to remember in prayer the whole Diocesan family, its leader, Bishop Michael, and the priests who work with him.
(Gerard Hore)


200 Years Commemorative Book

This book contains the story of every first Catholic school in each Australian diocese. That’s St Mary’s Armidale for us. Paperback and hardback editions are available and can be ordered now for delivery later in the year. Go here and scroll down to find the pre-order form.
(Gerard Hore)


Virtual Symposium: “Faith in the Future”

Another event associated with the Bicentenary of Catholic Education This online symposium has Dr Lyn Sharratt as guest presenter. Geraldine Doogue will chair a follow-up panel discussion.

Wednesday 27 October

3.00pm-4.15pm AEDT 

More information here

(Gerard Hore)

October is National Safe Work Month

A time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace.

During October each year, we ask workers and employers across Australia to commit to safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.

Being healthy and safe means being free from physical and psychological harm. No job should be unsafe and no death or injury is acceptable. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.

The theme for National Safe Work Month this year is think safe. work safe. be safe.
This October, think safe. work safe. be safe. at your workplace by planning and implementing work health and safety procedures.

(Geraldine Chapman)

Proficient Teacher and Maintenance of Accreditation Extension

NESA has given all teachers who are overdue or due to complete accreditation requirements in Term 3 or Term 4, 2021 an extension until the end of week 6 of Term 1, 2022 (4 March 2022)
(Millie Woolaston)

For Further Information See OUR VACANCIES

Principal, O'Connor Catholic College Armidale

Temporary, full-time

Closes 05/10/2021


Teacher Librarian, St Mary's College Gunnedah

Permanent, full-time

Closes 10/10/2021


English Teacher, St Mary's College Gunnedah

Temporary, full-time

Closes 10/10/2021

Principal, St Patrick's Primary School Walcha

Temporary, full-time

Closes 10/10/2021

Principal, Sacred Heart Primary School Boggabri

Temporary, full-time

Closes 10/10/2021

Classroom Teachers, St Mary's Primary School Armidale

Permanent, full-time and temporary, full-time

Closes 10/10/2021

Secondary Teachers (7-10), Holy Trinity School Inverell

Permanent and temporary, full-time and part-time positions available

Closes 15/10/2021


Positions in other Diocese:

Assistant Principal—Religious Education Mother of Good Counsel School, North Cairns

Full Time Fixed Term Position (5 year contract)
Closes 11/10/2021

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes
For a full list of positions vacant, please click here

Principal, St Joseph's Parish School Condobolin

Contact Vicki Bourne-Fallon (School Consultant -Southern on (02) 6853 9300 or CEWF website:
Closes 08/10/2021

Follow this link for the latest National Catholic Education Commission Newsletter:

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