Celebrating commitment to Catholic Education: Service and Emmaus Awards

Members of the Catholic Schools Maitland-Newcastle community filled Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday night for the annual Called to Serve Mass. The theme for this year’s Mass was Encounter: Journeying Together.

The Mass was presided by Fr John Lovell who described the occasion as an “opportunity for the Catholic school community to come together in response to the call to serve as a part of leading a Christian life.”

Prior to the Mass, the 25 Years of Service Awards were presented to members of staff in recognition of their commitment to Catholic education. The awards were presented by Fr John Lovell and Head of Catholic Schools, Steve Lemos.

The loudest cheers of the night followed during the presentation of the 50 Years of Service Awards, presented to Cheryl Henderson, Principal Our Lady of Lourdes Tarro, Larry Keating, Principal St Mary’s Catholic College Gateshead and John Tobin form the Catholic Schools Office.

This was followed by the presentation of the Emmaus Awards, which recognise and celebrate the significant contribution made by our staff in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

This year's Emmaus Award recipients, as nominated by their peers, were:

  • Excellence in Teaching Primary – Belinda Pettinari: St Brigid’s Raymond Terrace
  • Excellence in Teaching Primary – Fiona Stretton: St Kevin’s Cardiff
  • Excellence in Secondary Teaching – Nicole Burns: St Paul’s Booragul
  • First Five Years of Teaching Abby O’Connor: St Bede’s College Chisholm
  • First Five Years of Teaching Jordan Foster: St Pius X High School, Adamstown
  • School Support Margaret Livingstone: St Joseph’s Kilaben Bay
  • Leadership - Diane Hickey: St Pius X High School Adamstown
  • Innovation Humanities Team: St Bede’s College Chisholm
  • VET Teacher - Joanna Towers: St Catherine’s College Singleton
  • Teaching Primary - Jodie Summerville: St John the Baptist Maitland
  • Excellence in Innovation – Kristen Jones: St Brigid’s Raymond Terrace
  • School Community - St Mary’s Primary School Warners Bay
  • The Sisters of St Joseph Award - Trish Hales: St Joseph’s College Lochinvar


The highlight of the night was the presentation of the Sisters of St Joseph Education Award to Trish Hales, Principal at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar. The award was particularly special given Trish is an ex-student of the school, with her Principalship at St Joseph’s a ‘coming home’ to the Charism of the sisters that she has sought to live out through the entirety of her career.

The commitment to ministry by members of the Catholic school’s community involves a pledge to strive for excellence and uphold the Catholic values of justice, equity, professionalism and respect for all. School communities marked this commitment with the tradition of bringing the names of all members of staff to the foot of the alter.

Congratulations to all the award recipients who have demonstrated passion for mission and a strong commitment to Catholic Education.

Follow mnnews.today on Facebook.