Principal’s Message

In this year of “Justice”, members of St Joseph’s Regional College community have been called to respond to the needs of others. Pope Francis’ message: “None of us can think we are exempt from concerns for the poor and for social justice”, has resonated strongly with all of us throughout the year. I am humbled by the generosity of heart that staff and students have shown in so many areas this year and additionally, I feel blessed that we have been given the ongoing support of St Agnes’ Parish Priest, Fr Donnelly in our educational endeavour. Fr Donnelly, who this year celebrated his 90th birthday, still holds the wellbeing of our Parish schools very close to his heart.

My sincere gratitude to College Chaplain, Fr Roland Agrisola for his untiring work in our Parish and here at the College. Fr Roland has been a beacon of inspiration in enabling us to reflect on our relationship with God, in the knowledge that Christ is there for us at all times. Additionally, I would like to thank Mr John McQueen, Coordinating Executive Officer of Parish Education and Mrs Patricia Coelho, Consultant for the Hastings Cluster, for their ongoing stewardship. To Mrs Peta Rourke, Hastings Cluster Parent Assembly Organiser, and College representatives, Mrs Stephanie Pepper, Mrs Bernadette Gammon and Mr John Heagney, thank you for your hard work and ongoing attentiveness.

To the teaching and support staff of St Joseph’s Regional College, you have continued to show much commitment to all aspects of College life. I would like to especially affirm our Leaders of Pastoral Care and Leaders of Learning for their work in aspiring our students always do their best. To:

Mrs Cath Eichmann, Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care and Staff Support), who has served the College community so admirably, we wish her well for her 12 month position as Assistant Principal (Curriculum and Administration) at MacKillop for 2018. In this vein, congratulations to Mrs Tanya Daley who will act in Mrs Eichmann’s role next year.

Mr Bruce Smith, Leader of Pedagogy, we similarly wish him well in 2018 as he takes up the role of Teacher Educator for the Lismore Catholic Schools Office. Congratulations to Mrs Christine Harmer who will replace Bruce next year.

Mrs Helen Gilbert, Leader of Evangelisation, we wish her well as she contemplates a year of travel. Congratulations to Mr Timo Gobius who will be replacing Helen.

Gratitude is also extended to Mr Tim McCosker (Assistant Principal Curriculum and Administration), Mr Ian Lutton (Leader of Curriculum), Mr Sean Jennings (Leader of Catechesis) and Mrs Bronwyn Shipton (Leader of Administration), Mrs Michelle Reynolds (Principal’s Assistant Student Services) and Mrs Wendy Welsh (Principal’s Assistant Staff Services) for their leadership, sense of empathy and professionalism throughout the year.

St Joseph’s Regional College has been most ably led by Captains, Georgia Hickling and Alexander Ross; Vice Captains, Tilley Meddemmen and Fletcher Aldous; and House Prefects, Beth Sharratt and Lachlan Smith (Flinders), Cassidy New and Caleb Smith (Hastings), Courtney Newell and Ethan Carter (Innes), Alex Avery and Lachlan Kelly (Macquarie), Brooke Oakley and Lachlan Hunt (Oxley), and Gabrielle Moss and Matthew Cramp (Wilson). Congratulations to you and all members of the Senior Student leadership Team.

To our Junior Pastoral Care Leaders, you too have contributed much positive work this year to make our community the vibrant and caring College that it is. To Mrs Tanya Daley, Junior PC Leader Coordinator, and Mrs Amy Haydon and Mr Daniel O’Mullane, senior Leadership Team Coordinators, a big thank you for your stewardship and guidance of our student leaders this year.
Other staff members who we will be farewelling in 2017:

Mrs Claudette Stace, is taking the position of Assistant Principal (Learning) at All Saint’s College (Yr 7-12) Maitland. Claudette has been a long-serving leader at the College and more recently at the Lismore Catholic Schools Office as a Teacher Educator.

Mrs Jenny Reilly, has resigned from the College after 19 years of dedicated service. We wish Jenny every happiness as she contemplates her future endeavours.
Mrs Anne Twomey and Mrs Amy Haydon, who are travelling to Canada on a teacher exchange program. We wish Amy and Anne all the very best and look forward to welcoming them back in 2019.

Mrs Hannah O’Brien, we wish you all the very best on your move to St Joseph’s College, Banora Point in 2018 and look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.

Ms Jessica Wright, will be pursuing study interests in the area of international and community development.

Mr Daniel O’Mullane, is taking a position at St Columba Anglican College in 2018.

Mrs Laura VonHoldt, has taken a position closer to home at St Paul’s College, Kempsey.

Ms Christa Morrow who anticipates commencing her teaching degree in 2018.

Thank you also to Mrs Karen Cooper, Mrs Jenna Mynott and Mrs Genine Howard who have completed Temporary contracts in 2017.

To our Gap Year Trainees, Taylee Eames, Riley Eichmann, Billy Hart, Jordan Smail, Jack Steinmetz and Jarrod Stewart, thank you for your great work in 2017. On behalf of the College community, we wish you every safety and happiness as you courageously move on in your lives.

Finally, I take this opportunity to farewell the 75 students in Year 10 who have chosen to continue their secondary education at Newman Senior Technical College. I wish them all the best and thank them and their families for their contribution to the College over the last four years.

On behalf of the staff of St Joseph’s Regional College, I wish our students, their families and friends a safe, happy and holy Christmas and holiday season and we look forward to welcoming many of your children back to our care in 2018.

Thank you to the many staff who, this week, have been involved in the organisation of the Sports Awards, Christmas Mass , Academic Awards and the Service and Spirit Awards Ceremonies.


Jim Dempsey
College Principal