Ambrose Treacy College has quickly forged a strong tradition and culture of welcome and hospitality that is palpable; I join you in benefitting from this as we begin a new year, a new decade and a new chapter in the story of this wonderful place.
We welcome the following new staff and staff to new roles in 2020:
• Allana Dorman – Junior School Year 6 Case Manager
• Amelia Del Favero – Middle School English/Humanities/RE Teacher
• Ashleigh O’Connell – Business Teacher (Contract 2020)
• Ashleigh Ramsay – Middle School Humanities teacher (Contract 2020)
• Belinda Emmi (commenced 21 October 2019) Head of Learning Junior School
• Brett Cashmere (Year 5 Coordinator) – Move to 5 Campbell classroom
• Coralie Kalisch – 5 Treacy Homeroom teacher (Job Share with Sam Hassett)
• David O’Brien – Design Technology Teacher
• Darren Cullen – Junior School Teacher
• Georgie Ingham-Myers – Admin Assistant, Learning Office
• Greg Quinn – Maths/Science teacher (Returning)
• Jane Ellice – Middle School College Counsellor
• Jennifer Watson – Junior School Year 5 Case Manager
• Jonathon Stewart – Digital Technology Teacher
• Julia Palaszczuk – Acting Head of Humanities – Middle School
• Kate Watts – Middle School Year 7 Case Manager
• Keith Halpin – Senior School College Counsellor
• Kristy Reynoldson – Teacher Librarian (Part-time commencing 1 day per week in Sem 1)
• Lara Morgan – Dean of Learning
• Lisa Holohan – Assistant Dean of Learning – School Improvement
• Marcello Cecchi – Hospitality Teacher
• Mel Trowell / Gwenda Burton – Junior School (Job Share for the Year 6 Bodkin Class)
• Maryanne Gillespie – Junior School Year 5 Bodkin Class Teacher
• Paul Keillor – Science Teacher
• Paul Brown – Design Tech Teacher
• Sarah McCallan – Head of Library Services
• Sam Hassett – Junior School Digital Technology teacher & 5 Treacy Class Teacher
• Sharni Maclean – Assistant Head of Year 9
• Susan Creese – Junior & Middle School Classroom Music Teacher (Contract)
• Tegan Woodbridge – Middle School Maths and Business Teacher
I wish to begin this new chapter of our story by acknowledging and celebrating five key groups of people upon whose shoulders we stand as the ATC 2020 community:
• The Turrbal and Jagera People, the traditional custodians of this beautiful land on which our school stands. I pay my respects to the elders, past present and emerging as we share in the stewardship of our place.
• Blessed Edmund Rice, Brother Patrick Ambrose Treacy and the Christian Brothers who have lived and served on our land.
• The lay staff, students and parents who have learned, served and supported at Nudgee Junior College and Ambrose Treacy College over the past 81 years
• Mr Michael Senior and the staff, parents and students who joined him on the first five- year foundational journey of Ambrose Treacy College.
• The ATC Seniors of 2019; Men of Courage who have helped to establish our paths and culture and form our first ATC Old Boys community.
I join this community after 39 years of connection with Catholic Education in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice. I first learned about Blessed Edmund in a comic book that the Christian Brothers used in the 1970s and early 1980s to teach about his story. I was a 9 year old boy attending St Joseph’s College in Toowoomba, where I grew up.
Later, I deliberately chose to join the Christian Brothers as a lay teacher in their schools. As a 21 year old, I was lucky to have the opportunity to commence my teaching career at St Joseph’s Nudgee College or Nudgee Senior as it was known. It was at Nudgee where I came to know Mr Michael Senior very well and was formed by him, other key lay staff and some wonderful Christian Brothers such as Peter Harney, former Principal of Nudgee Junior and Vic Larkin, former Deputy Provincial Leader and Director of Xavier Teacher’s College to become a leader in our tradition. At Nudgee, I was privileged over time to serve as Head of Year 11 and 12 boarding, as Magee House Dean, as Director of Students Years 5 to 9 as we created the junior school, Dean of Students, Dean of Faith and Mission and Acting Deputy Principal. During this time, I came to know hundreds of Nudgee Junior graduates and their families both in Brisbane and through regional and rural Australia and the world. It was at Nudgee that I began to learn about Ambrose Treacy as a founder of our schools as Nudgee is an extraordinary example of his vision, courage, commitment and stubbornness!
In 2011, I joined the community of St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace as the Dean of Identity, the Faith and Mission leader of the school. Over the past five years, I have served as Deputy Principal and Acting College Principal when required. Again, I have come to know many graduates of Nudgee Junior and their families at Terrace. At Terrace, I gained a deeper understanding of the history of the Christian Brothers in Queensland and the story of Ambrose Treacy. My office for several years at Terrace was Ambrose Treacy’s bedroom where he passed away in 1912. When I was boy, there was a TV show called ‘The Ghost and Mrs Muir’-there was many a time where I reflected on Ambrose Treacy and ‘The Ghost and Mr Ryan’ in that room. It was in that room where I decided to apply to become Principal of Ambrose Treacy College.
I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to join the ATC community as Principal. I will admit that following my friend, colleague and mentor, Michael Senior was an ambition I privately held for some time and hoped to fulfil (I am still pinching myself) and I commit myself wholeheartedly to the community. Ambrose Treacy College is a unique place, situation and opportunity forged within the context of a long and fine tradition during a broader context of rapid change and constant challenge in the early 21st century. My wife Louise, and my daughters, Clare, Bernadette and Genevieve join me as my key supporters on this journey and we look forward to all that lies ahead.
Recently, the College Leadership Team spent time together focusing on the formation of our new group and on the animation of the new College Strategic Plan that will be launched in 2020. I welcome Ms Lara Morgan to the team in her role as Dean of Learning and look forward to all that she will bring to this role. I thank Ms Kath Little for her outstanding contribution to the culture of learning at ATC. I thank each of the College Leadership Team, Mr David Gardiner, Mr Peter Nugent, Mr Conor Finn and Mr Matt Warr for their welcome, collegiality and support as Lara and I join the team. In the coming weeks, I will share with the community some information about our new College Strategic Plan. Thank you to all community members who provided input and feedback through the consultation process.
An important aspect of the culture of hospitality, partnership and service we share is through our many volunteers across the life of the College. For example, on the Australia Day weekend, we had over 100 parent volunteers assist at our Working Bee-fabulous and thank you. A responsibility we share as adults is the provision of a safe and caring environment for our young people in all that we do and this is reflected in our compliance policies and procedures. From 2020, all visitors and volunteers must please review the Key Messages for Visitors and Volunteers document and CLICK HERE to complete the online acknowledgement. We will keep a record of which parents/caregivers have completed the training. Unfortunately, if you have not completed the online acknowledgement, you will be unable to volunteer in various activities across the College. Your support with this is greatly appreciated.
I would ask the community to please keep Ezra Mam (Year 12 Munster 1) in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his Grandmother. She was one of Queensland’s first Aboriginal nurses and a pioneer of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples based on respect and cultural understanding. We send our deepest condolences to her family and many friends.
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace. Amen.
I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks at our community welcome events.