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Aiming for the best from day one


As students across the state begin the 2024 school year, Catholic Education South Australia executive director DR NEIL MCGORAN welcomes families and looks forward to the year ahead.

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The beginning of the school year is a wonderful period that generates a range of emotions.

Many children will experience their first ever ‘first day’ of school. At the other end of the spectrum, Year 12 students will have their final ‘first day’. No matter what stage your child is at in their schooling, we will support them every step of the way in their learning journey.

For our principals, teachers and school staff, there is something familiar in the start of school year routine but, at the same time, there is a sense of newness. Despite the familiarity, there is a new set of goals to fulfil and new practices, requirements, and routines to implement. New students to meet and new initiatives to introduce.

For our new staff, there is anticipation and, no doubt, some nerves, too. I wish them every blessing as they commence their work in Catholic education.

For all of us across Catholic Education South Australia, while there is a strategic plan to guide us, and actions, indicators, targets, and goals to shape our work, perhaps just as importantly, there is a picture in our minds of how the year can progress. In our hearts, we are inspired, hope filled, and emotionally invested.

Without doubt, we want the very best for everyone. And even more deeply, there lies an undoubted appreciation of the importance and transformative power of Catholic education.

In these early moments of the new school year, we recognise that Catholic schools are places where we see and experience a snapshot of a preferred future; a future where all are welcomed, can come to be known and loved, and where all people can thrive.

I pray that, for our students and their families, 2024 will be a year of significant personal growth, good health, excellent learning and rich faith formation. At the same time, I am certain that our students will be met by leaders and staff who will know them by name and see their strengths; invite them into a personal relationship with Jesus; take the time to nurture trusting and respectful working relationships; guide and challenge them; correct them and care for them; teach them in words and by example; inspire them to care for creation and those less fortunate; encourage them to truly understand the meaning of ‘common good’; and always believe in them.

What a rich and rewarding educational experience made possible by committed and expert leaders and staff! Who wouldn’t want that for their own child.

May 2024 be a year when our students, families, staff and school communities continue to flourish. Thank you to the many families who support Catholic education and to the staff who demonstrate such a strong commitment to their vocation.

May we all be inspired by the life and example of Jesus and may our students continue to grow as thriving young people, capable learners and leaders for the world God desires.

Best wishes for the 2024 academic year.

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