Blessing of new world-class leadership centre

Blessing of new world-class leadership centre

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, today blessed the foundation stone of the new multi-million dollar Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne— an historic development in Catholic education in Victoria and education in Australia.

Research has confirmed the importance of leadership to the effectiveness of learning communities and outcomes for students. The Catholic Leadership Centre will provide a world-class facility and further elevate the focus of leadership, so that every child in every Catholic school can benefit from well formed school and community leaders.

The centre will eventually train and form leaders in other Catholic ministries, including Catholic hospitals.

The complex located at the former St John the Evangelist School on the corner of Hoddle and Albert streets will include lecture halls, eight classrooms and a new 45-bed accommodation and dining facility. The project will also include the refurbishment of the historic Celtic Church that features a large cross on its outside wall and parking for 59 cars.

Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) Chair, Bishop Timothy Costelloe, Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Michael O’Brien and the Director of Catholic Education, Stephen Elder were among the dignitaries at today’s ceremony.

Archbishop Hart said the site was rich in history for the Catholic Church and Catholic education.

“A small hall containing the first St John the Evangelist Catholic Church and school was opened in 1866 by Archbishop Goold. For over 144 years the school provided a Catholic primary education for generations of young people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, many from the Housing Commission flats in Richmond,” Archbishop Hart said.

“This centre will build and enhance the great work of principals, teachers and the Religious in Catholic schools.”

Today’s blessing was held a short distance from where in 1927 Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who was the Archbishop of Melbourne for 46 years, blessed a memorial stone to mark the opening of the extension to the school’s memorial hall.

The centre will deliver accredited masters courses in Catholic leadership and professional development for teachers in the Catholic sector, including a Master of Leadership, delivered by Australian Catholic University (ACU) and non-credentialed leadership courses. Principals, deputy principals and leading teachers from Catholic schools will be among those to benefit.

Mr Elder said the centre would offer world-class facilities and courses. “This is a very exciting project, offering the very best for principal and teacher professional development in the 21st century,” said Mr Elder. “Catholic school communities, led by our principals and teachers, are doing a wonderful job focussing on the needs of every child.

“While the centre will initially interest educationalists from around Victoria, I envisage that it will attract people from around Australia, and even from overseas. This centre will boost education and leadership standards even further which will ultimately benefit the students in our schools.”

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Michael O’Brien, said the centre would provide a major boost for Catholic leaders in Victoria and beyond. “The Victorian Coalition Government would like to congratulate the Catholic sector on this tremendous initiative. The new Catholic Leadership centre will provide professional development to Catholic principals and teachers and support future generations of Victorians.”

The Catholic Leadership Centre is due to open at the start of the third term, 2012.

Further information from Catholic Education Office Melbourne Media, on 9267 0228 or  

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