Deputy Principal's Report

I was fortunate to recently attend the Mercy Schools Conference at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne, the theme for our conference was “Sustaining the Spirit of Mercy”. The spirit of Padua College is interwoven with the story of the Mercy Sisters who follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley. This idea of “Mercy” is certainly something that permeates many aspects of College life, in particular when we think about the many different opportunities for outreach into the wider community for our young people. Obvious examples such as the East Timor and Indigenous Australia Immersion programmes, also the Ozanam program organised by Mrs Val Hardie, which allows students to work with people with disabilities and the many and varied opportunities offered by the Catholic Action Program under the auspices of Mr Frank Colcott.

Mercy Cluster Houses at Padua College raise funds throughout the year to support many aspects of outreach under the care of the Sisters of Mercy, one such facility I was privileged to see first-hand over the course of the conference was a women’s refuge in Footscray.  McAuley Community Services for Women provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence, and for women who are homeless. In the refuge women are generally in respite for a short time, approximately 6 months, so they can get back on their feet. Some of the women were given an opportunity to pass on messages to future guests via messages sewn with needle and thread which were displayed on the wall of the refuge. I will share some with you here:

“Nobody has ever really listened before or cared”

“Being able to have places like this is a patch of tender loving care”

“I feel so much stronger each day”

“please don’t lose hope because after a storm there is a rainbow”

In 2016, McAuley Community Services helped around 1,000 women and children to rebuild their lives, supporting them on their journey towards independence and safer futures.


Many of our Year 10 students would have attended the ECaT information sessions last week and I hope they all thought carefully about the decisions that are ahead. Whether they chose a VCE, VCAL or VET pathway, or a combination of all three, I hope and pray that their decision is inspired, at least a little, by the life of Catherin McAuley and the work today by those who care for others in places such as McAuley Community Services for Women.


Finally, sincere congratulations to the Year 9 & 10 Girls Football team who have won the Inaugural Herald Sun Shield. I was fortunate to watch the first two wins and the determination, teamwork and good spirit were evident despite blizzard like conditions at Craigieburn. Well done Girls!


Wishing you all continued blessings.

Stephen Veneris
Deputy Principal | Head of 7-10 Campus Mornington