On Wednesday 8 February, MacKillop College Werribee opened the school year with a Mass celebrated by Most Reverend Archbishop Dennis Hart DD Conv and concelebrated with Canonical Administrators Rev Fr Frank Buhagiar PP and Rev Fr Pius Kodakkathanath PP, Rev Fr Shymon Thekkekalathunga and Rev Fr Darien Sticklen.
The Opening Mass at MacKillop College was a sacred opportunity for us to gather as a community to celebrate the Eucharist. At this time, we entrusted our year to God’s providence and care, and prayed for the deepening of our relationship with Christ in all that we do. The Opening Mass is always inspirational in its focus marking the spiritual beginning of the college year. Our theme for this year is ‘Peace for our common home’ aligned with a quote from Mary MacKillop, ‘Remember, we are but travelers here’ circa 1866.
Our faith in life was evident as the College community gathered in the Tenison Woods Centre where a sense of unity was demonstrated by the number of people that gathered in reverence. Principal, Mr Rory Kennedy exclaimed that, “Our faith is and remains always the life of our college.”
Our College vision is grounded in Gospel values and the tradition of St Mary of the Cross. “At MacKillop we strive to encourage individuals to reach their full potential as life-long learners by providing an innovative, challenging and collaborative learning and teaching environment in a rapidly evolving society” – Mr Rory Kennedy
Celebrating all life. Challenging all people. Dreaming the new day. This is the vision that helps MacKillop Catholic Regional College open its doors to invite the community to jointly live out our Gospel values. It then aims to help students realise their potential in school and ultimately in their lives.
Established in 1970 with an initial enrolment of 102 girls, MacKillop is a Catholic Co-educational Secondary College named after Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, co-founder of the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Since then, the College has educated a large portion of the Catholic Community and is proud of its current status. Principal, Rory Kennedy, says the College is committed to each student’s intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological growth by fostering leadership and empowering them as faith filled, discerning citizens of its school community.
“With a comprehensive and well-balanced curriculum, programs have been designed to prepare students with the tools and skills needed to effectively problem solve, research and channel inner creation,” continues Mr Kennedy. Our curriculum incorporates intensive learning within a positive, dynamic and adaptive learning and teaching environment. This promotes a culture of enquiry and the creative exploration of ideas.
Stimulated by innovative, challenging and collaborative lessons, students from Year 7 to 10 study subjects across all learning areas including, Religious Education, Creative and Performing Arts, Design and Technology, English, Health and Physical Education, Humanities, Digital Technologies, Languages, Mathematics and Science. Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 have the option of choosing their subjects from VCE and/or VET courses. Senior pathways offered at the College include VCAL and VCE.
In addition to our new Chapel, our College recently opened a new building called ‘La Merci’ which boasts an innovative and contemporary learning environment with open spaces and classrooms. These digitally rich General Purpose Learning Areas (GPLAs) will support our students with appropriate learning to assist them in becoming ICT proficient and productive community members in this 21st Century. The GPLAs will also support a valuable contemporary education for our students who upon leaving school will be expected to participate in our Digital Knowledge Society. Our students’ worlds are increasingly being shaped by their abilities to acquire, communicate, access and manipulate information using ICT and to respond creatively to emerging technologies. We believe that this careful design of these learning spaces will support and energise the individual and collaborative learning experiences, boost standards, improve educational opportunities and enrich pathways.
MacKillop endeavours to provide outstanding education that integrates faith, life and culture and Mr Kennedy emphasises that our actions strive to ensure that the College’s leadership remains true to the mission of the Church. We acknowledge the gifts and achievements of all through the school liturgies, assemblies and numerous celebrations. He clearly articulates that “The College pursues excellence in learning and teaching to support the vision of Catholic education in the development of the whole person, founded upon Gospel values. The College supports wellbeing by affirming the intrinsic dignity of each individual embracing diversity and empowering active citizenship”.
The MacKillop community strives to follow in the footsteps of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and in his word he concludes with “We are so proud of who she was and still is to us.”