Northern Territory Member Profiles

Xavier Catholic College, Bathurst Island - Tess Fong

Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School Santa Teresa, via Alice Springs - Deborah Madgen

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Alice Springs - Br Matthew Green

St John's Darwin - Cameron Hughes

St Joseph's Katherine - Denis Graham

O'Loughlin Catholic College, Darwin - Rhett Bowden

MacKillop Catholic College, NT - Lauretta Graham

Xavier Catholic College, Bathurst Island

Tess Fong

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory Xavier Catholic College (XCC) is located in the town of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, 80 kilometres north of Darwin.
What is the nature of your College

Together MCPS (Murrupurtyanuwu Catholic Primary School), XCC forms the Catholic Education Precinct and alongside the community provides a Quality Catholic Tiwi Education for students from Pre-School to Year Thirteen. XCC was originally established as a boys' school in 1932 and it now offers coeducation opportunities for 122 students from Year Seven to Year Thirteen. Middle School students (Year Seven to Year Nine) study Religious Education, Australian Curriculum English, Australian Curriculum Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Health and Physical Education, Creative Arts (Music and Art), and Design and Technology (Woodwork and Food Technology). Senior School students (Year Ten to Year Thirteen) study academic and vocational subjects and since 2013 the college has had nine students graduate with their NTCET the first to do so whilst studying on the island.

How many students 122
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College Tess Fong the current Principal of XCC has been in the position since 2014. She has been teaching for 36 years across primary, secondary, boarding and Indigenous colleges. Tess has an avid interest in improving outcomes for Indigenous students and supporting and employing staff who have a passion to make a difference. Tess is studying a Bachelor of Australian Indigenous Studies through Murdoch University and is supported in her work by her husband Lance.
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Principal, Queensland
What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

Tess is particularly proud of the achievements of the XCC Stage 1 & 2 students as a culture of High School completion is now a part of Tiwi life. She is also proud of the GOO (Growing Our Own) teacher education program that operates out of XCC, in conjunction with Charles Darwin University and the Catholic Education Office. Across MCPS and XCC there are 8 Assistant Teachers who are completing their Bachelor of Education through this program.  Tess is also excited by the partnerships that have been forged in the last three years with the Cathy Freeman Foundation, the Smith Family, the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Academy and Menzie's Health.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area

The main challenge Tess sees for schools on the Tiwi Islands, is encouraging students to attend school regularly. With the assistance of the RSAS, SEAM teams and the Cathy Freeman Foundation MCPS and XCC are making head roads in this area and hope to see more students graduating school and securing employment.

   

Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School Santa Teresa, via Alice Springs

Deborah Madgen

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory Santa Teresa is in the centre of Australia 80 km south east of Alice Springs and I 600 km from Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory.
What is the nature of your College

LACS in an Indigenous Catholic Community School administered by the Marist Brothers on behalf of Catholic Education Northern territory (CENT) and in partnership with the Arrernte people of Santa Teresa. It is a P 11 school)

How many students 130
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College I commenced as Principal in 2018
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Teacher for 40 years including 8 years as Deputy Principal in SA
What parts of the role of Principal give you the greatest satisfaction

Implementing educational programs I think will enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of our students

What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

The hard working and dedicated staff and the close community and community ties. LACS is the biggest employer in the community

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area

Increasing the attendance rate of our Senior students, engaging them at school and keeping them at school longer

What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally

We have very specific needs: ours are to do with attendance, engaging our Senior students and giving them skills to equip them for the work force

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Alice Springs

Br Matthew Green

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory Alice Springs
What is the nature of your College

Comprehensive, Co-education, T-12 (3 campuses)

How many students 800
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College 2014
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Deputy Principal
What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

At OLSH we have a long tradition and are well know in the local community for our pastoral care of students.

More recently we have focused on developing professional learning communities with an emphasis on engaging and creative learning.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area

Alice Springs is a very transient community which poses challenges in developing and maintaining school culture.

It is also a challenge attracting staff to live in Alice Springs.

What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally

Catholic identity of students, parents/families, and staff.

St John's Darwin

Cameron Hughes

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory St John's Catholic College is located in the heart of Darwin.
What is the nature of your College

A Co-Ed day and boarding (domestic and international) college administered by the Catholic Education Office

How many students 210 students. A third of our students are from the local Darwin area, a third of our students are from remote Indigenous communities across QLD, NT and WA, and a third of our students are from International locations.
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College 2018
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Deputy Principal at St John's Catholic College Darwin, prior to that, Principal at Xavier Catholic College Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island.
What parts of the role of Principal give you the greatest satisfaction:

Providing the structure and opportunities that allow students to flourish..

What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

The opportunity our College provides to students from a refugee / humanitarian program background.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area

An appropriate and sustainable funding model for ABSTUDY funded Boarding students

What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally

To continue to inspire students to lead, learn, love and live with a strong sense of Heart Spirituality.

St Joseph's Katherine

 

Denis Graham

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory Katherine, 312 km south of Darwin at the junction of the Stuart and Victoria Highways..
What is the nature of your College Coeducational College with an Early Learning Centre, Primary and Secondary programs. Year 12 commenced for the first time in 2014. The College opened in 1987 and the foundation principal was a Daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and the Parish Priest was a Salesian.
How many students We currently have a total of approximately 300 students. It is a highly transient community with one third of our students leaving each year. At present, there are 75 indigenous students and 54 students from the RAAF.
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College 2013
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Director of Teaching and Learning at Sacred Heart Kyneton, Victoria.
What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

1.We have a very dedicated staff who strive to deliver a quality and very innovative curriculum in a complex environment.

2. Our students are so friendly and welcoming and adjust well to change.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area

Geographic isolation and the associated networking opportunities for staff who are very keen to establish links with innovative schools across both Australia and  internationally .

What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally

1.Ensuring that gospel values and justice remain the prime focus of our schools as we meet the challenges of our materialistic contemporary Australia.

2.  Federal funding and the disappointment that followed  the hopes raised in the Gonski Report for addressing education inequities.

O'Loughlin Catholic College

 

Rhett Bowden

Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory In Darwin, the suburb of Karama.
What is the nature of your College Secondary Years 7-12, Catholic, Co-ed
How many students 560
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College 2017
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment Head of Senior School O'Loughlin
What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of

The supportive and inclusive nature of the College community.
The drive and commitment of staff.

What parts of the role of Principal give you the greatest satisfaction:

Support and encouragement to students and staff, which enables them to achieve to their best.  Playing a key role in setting the positive tone and environment within the community.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area
  • Creating an environment where academic achievement and leadership are viewed as worthy and important.  The Northern Territory in general lacks a culture of academic achievement.
  • The transient nature of staff and, to a lesser extent, the community.  Our students rely on building relationships in order to achieve to their potential and this can be very difficult if there is the constant turnover of staff.  Also, this issue means that there can be a lack of continuity and development of school programs.
What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally
  • Promoting Catholic Education within the context of the Royal Commission.
  • Remaining true to the Vision and Mission of Catholic Education.

MacKillop Catholic College, NT 

Lauretta Graham

In what year where you appointed as a Director of CaSPA:
2013
Where is your College located in relation to the Capital of your state/territory:
Palmerston Northern Territory
What is the nature of your College [e.g. single sex, 6-12, Order owned &c]:
Yrs 7 - 11 growing to yr 12 in 2015
How many students:
335
In what year did you commence as Principal of this College:
Oct 2011 (Inaugural School year 2012)
What was your role prior to taking up this appointment:
Principal St Andrews Catholic College Redlynch
What are the one or two aspects of your College that you are especially proud of..:

  • Our College is a new Coeducation Catholic College in the city of Palmerston NT and in a very short time has gained the confidence of the community.
  • We are proud of our school, the community and the people of the wider Palmerston and rural areas who have so generously helped us develop over the past 2.5 years.

What are the main challenges to you and other Catholic schools in your local area:

  • Finding teachers for specialty areas and teachers with qualifications to teach Religious Education.
  • Parents being able to afford fees.

What do you believe are the one or two main issues confronting Catholic Secondary Colleges nationally...:

  • The increasing number of students who have little experience of church.
  • Having sufficient funding to provide good quality education.

 

CONNECT WITH US

ADDRESS

34 Albert St Darley
Victoria Australia 3340