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19th Week Ordinary Time: Message from Fr Jerome

The big news this week is that we have appointed a new principal for St Mary’s Primary School for next year. Mrs Cathy Ferrari accepted our offer and was ratified by the Archbishop. She is currently the Deputy Principal at St Finbar’s Primary School, Brighton East.

This was the culmination of a lengthy and thorough-going process. At every step of the way, I was ably and wisely advised by our Catholic Education Melbourne representatives, Deb Egan and Tonia Tamblyn. I thank them for all their hard work. We began the process by seeking advice and guidance from the staff and the Parish Education Board (PEB). We then established a Principal Appointment Panel, made up of Tonia, Francine Walsh (formerly on the staff at the primary school and now principal of Our Lady of Lourdes), Lisa Wheeler and Claude Lam (both current parents and representatives of the PEB), and myself. Again, I thank the staff, the PEB and especially the Panel.

The Panel then set about drafting some selection criteria based on the guidance provided by the staff and the PEB, which went towards advertising the position. While the position was being advertised, we used the criteria to formulate the interview questions. Deb and Tonia then recommended which of the applications should go through to the Panel for interview consideration. We were very blessed to have a large field of very strong applications, which made this selection quite difficult.

We interviewed four candidates, and again the calibre of interviews was very high. We were spoiled for choice; which again made the decision quite difficult. In the end, though, the panel felt very comfortable putting forward Cathy as our preferred candidate for ratification by the Archbishop. We also thank all the other applicants for taking the considerable time and effort to apply. Catholic education seems blessed with leaders for the future.

There will be other times in the future properly to introduce Cathy to the Parish, and she is very excited to begin getting to know everyone. However, at this stage, I would like to thank the Parish for all your prayers on this. As I mentioned, we were blessed to have such a large field of applicants and of such great quality. It shows not only how highly this community and this school are regarded, but also how good God is. God bless!


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