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Year 12 centre culmination of ‘resilience and vision’

Schools

The official opening and blessing of the Sr Jillian Havey Centre at St Dominic’s Priory College this month was testament to the school’s “strength, determination and persistence” to expand its facilities.

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Addressing those gathered at the new Year 12 study centre located in Hill Street, North Adelaide, South Australian Governor the Hon. Hieu Van Le AC said he was aware it had been a “long and challenging process” to get the project approved.

He described Dominican Sister Jillian Havey AM – who has been principal of the college since 1971 – as someone whose passion and dedication to education was “truly, truly outstanding”. He thanked her for her “tireless work, resilience and vision” in offering the best education possible for girls, including many new arrivals and refugees to the State.

Sr Havey, who completed all her schooling at St Dominic’s, took the opportunity to outline the politically sensitive process over several years to gain approval for the development, which was finally granted under Section 49 of the Planning Act.

“Opening this centre today is all the more satisfying because it has been a hard won achievement,” she said.

“When the founding group of Sisters signed off on the Certificate of Title…for the original purchase of Town Acre 846 in Molesworth Street they could never have imagined just what a contested place North Adelaide would have become 100 years later.

“That in 2019 it would be an historic achievement for an institution to migrate from one side of the street at 77 to other side at 74!”

She paid tribute to the Dominican Sisters, parents, teachers and members of the school community who had the vision to expand the facilities and also those involved with the design and construction which was a “beautiful blending of the existing residence and new space”.

During the March 15 ceremony, Year 12 students presented five symbols representing the college. They included a figure of Christ; three hand-painted crosses; the face of Dominic, patron saint of the school; a photograph showing the chapel under construction in 1892 and a photograph of students marching on sports day in 1955. The items were all blessed by Fr Ben Hensley and are now placed at various locations within the centre.

Completed in just six months, the $3.3 million facility provides new classrooms for Year 12 students and has freed up existing resources to accommodate a large Year 7 cohort that started at the college this year.

Fr Ben Hensley blesses the symbols of the college presented at the opening ceremony.

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