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Mercedes appoints new principal


Mercedes College has announced the appointment of Andrew Balkwill as the college’s new principal.

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Mr Balkwill will join the college from the beginning of 2020 and brings with him extensive experience within Catholic education, most recently as principal of Thomas More College in Salisbury, a position he held for five years. Prior to that he was principal of Sacred Heart College Middle School at Mitchell Park.

At the end of this year he will conclude his role as principal consultant at the Catholic Education Office, in which he is mentoring and supporting principals in matters such as leading learning, dealing with critical incidents, and strategic planning.

Mr Balkwill’s appointment comes following the announcement in February this year of the retirement of current principal Peter Daw who held the role for 15 years.

Mercedes College deputy principal Paul Wadsworth will serve as the college’s interim principal for Terms 3 and 4 this year.

“Together with the Mercedes College Council I’m very pleased to be welcoming Andrew to our college as the new principal,” said chair of the college’s Council, Louise Mathwin.

“After a thorough selection process, it was clear that Andrew shares our ethos and values, which provides him with a deep understanding of the needs and culture of our college,” she said.

During his 15-year tenure at Mercedes, outgoing principal Mr Daw was instrumental in managing significant changes at the college, including transitioning from the Mercy Sister ownership, establishing a new constitution, and overseeing improvement to buildings and resources.

Ms Mathwin said Mr Daw would leave a lasting impression on Mercedes and retired with the college’s blessing.

“Whilst at our college, Peter built a strong community culture where students feel a sense of belonging and are compelled to genuinely try their best in all aspects of life,” she said.

“He worked tirelessly with staff to build the quality of the college’s educational offering and its global reputation as a school of excellence through the International Baccalaureate and Council of International Schools.

“Throughout his career, Peter had significant impact on the State’s education system and dedicated 30 years as a principal at various schools.”


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