As principals of Catholic schools in New Zealand and Australia, we are united by our faith, our belief in a loving God who has plans for each and every one of us and the school communities we are responsible for.
This is my first active reflection for two months. A couple of months ago, life as I knew it changed unexpectedly for me. I realised that it was time to return to my roots, my birthplace in Melbourne, a city I left over thirty years ago. After ten years at St Joseph's Catholic school in Oamaru, God has a new mission for me. I hope to be able to share my passion for life and learning with a new educational community in Melbourne. I am grateful for the love, support and understanding from my network of family, friends and community here in New Zealand and I know that the next principal at St Joseph's will be truly blessed.
Being part of the NZ Catholic Primary Principals (NZCPPA) Exec for the past eighteen months has been a rewarding learning experience. I was fortunate to be able to finish my time on the exec by sharing a two day get together with the Australian Catholic Primary Principal's (ACPPA) Exec before the start of the Trans-Tasman conference in Auckland.
We started our first day by visiting two large Catholic schools - St Joseph's Catholic School in Takapuna and Sancta Maria Catholic Primary School in Flatbush. Here are some videos from the visits. Our Australian and New Zealand colleagues were fortunate to have informative student tour guides in Takapuna. The principals were genuinely moved by the traditional New Zealand powhiri (welcome) from the students at Sancta Maria, including a haka and a mihi in Maori, Samoan and Filipino.
The second day will begin with a combined ACPPA and NZCPPA Exec meeting at the Sky City Convention Centre. During that time, members will share information from their countries based around the following themes: Managing our patch, Indigenous Education, Spiritual and Faith Formation for Staff and Positives and Negatives of the Curriculum. This will also include information around how each system works - funding, external reviews, strategic planning, lines of hierarchy, percentage of Catholic students, role of the Parish and Priest and how each exec interact with other bodies. The AGM meetings will follow these discussions.
I will share some further reflections around the themes of the second day via some live blogging tomorrow.