St Mary’s Gateshead embrace a new beginning

St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead, welcomed the arrival of the first Year 11 senior class on 31 January 2018.

Immaculately dressed in their new school uniforms, all students were glowing with pride and excitement to begin their first day of school.

After being greeted with a barbecue breakfast, members of the school community gathered together for the opening liturgy where the Year 11 students were clapped in and welcomed by their peers.

Year 11 student leader, Joel Holland told the crowd that the leaders in the College were completely committed to leading their fellow students over the next two years, saying: “We are all in this together.”

Project Coordinator Tammy Wright presented the Welcome to Country, captivating the audience with her use of a eucalyptus tree as a symbolic metaphor for the process of change the community had experienced.

“Trees symbolise the process of transformation: roots are the past and how we honour our heritage and our ancestors; the trunk is the present, it must be well nurtured and provide with care, because it is the present; the branches are our future goals. At times the branches can be tender; but when the flower blooms, we know that our vision is near,” she said. 

The St Mary’s community has experienced a significant process of change over the past two years with the official rebrand of the school name from St Mary’s High School to St Mary’s Catholic College. In addition, it was subsequently registered with NESA as a Year 7 to 12 Catholic college, thereby gaining accreditation to prepare students for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

While 2018 marks the beginning of a significant chapter in the history of the school community with its first-ever Year 11 cohort, 2019 will be equally significant when the school becomes a comprehensive Year 7 to 12 College with its first-ever cohort of HSC students.

College Principal, Larry Keating said: “We have embraced a new beginning. Our shared responsibility is to continue to build on the rich legacy of the Sisters of St Joseph for the benefit of current and future generations of students, parents, teachers and teaching support staff.

“As we embrace this task, may we do so in a manner which honours our partnership in Catholic education, which affirms the inherent goodness and giftedness of our children and which bears witnesses to the reality of our existence as a Christ-centred community.

“I hope 2018 will be a year where we all strive together to flourish in community as we build a wonderful future as a Year 7 to 12 College - a future honouring the legacy of our founding order, the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar and all who have gone before us. This to build our community as a place of compassion, care, service and learning – and as a place characterised by a love of learners and learning, a place centred on, inspired and nourished by God’s love.”

Contact the College today to create a bright future for your child!

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Gabrielle Sutherland Image
Gabrielle Sutherland

Gabrielle Sutherland is the Communications Officer - Content for the Catholic Schools Office and regular contributor to