This May, the Catholic Schools Office is, for the first time, embarking on a promotion to celebrate what our schools offer: Catholic schools are Vivid Everyday. Catholic schools form students and graduates as young men and women who are able to make an active, worthwhile contribution to the world in which they live. Catholic schools also offer a place where passionate teachers inspire confidence and facilitate academic excellence, where faith in God is lived in community, where partnerships with parents are nourished and where contemporary learning opens minds to a vivid future.
The promotion is built around Catholic schools as being ‘Vivid Everyday’. ‘Vivid’ very much captures the nature of the schools as being authentic, bold and spirited, and yet every day dependable and consistent. Catholic schools are at once vibrant and dynamic, yet strong and grounded communities.
Across the diocese, from Taree to Swansea, and Merriwa to Morisset, some 19,000 students attend 56 schools, comprising the system of Catholic schools. As part of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, we are also the fifth largest employer in the Hunter region.
So, why now seek to highlight more visibly the work of Catholic schools, Kindergarten to Year 12, across the diocese? Because we’re proud of what Catholic schools offer their local communities.
We want to showcase what Catholic schools stand for and celebrate what we nurture and achieve in students; we want to have the thousands of families and staff currently within Catholic schools confirmed in their choice of schooling; we want to promote the qualities and values of Catholic education to families considering their choices in education and, more broadly, to highlight why a growing number of families is choosing a Catholic education for their children.
We are very excited to share what Catholic schools stand for with the local community. The images and people you will meet as part of a wide regional campaign on TV, radio, billboards, buses and the internet, will highlight the varied aspects of Catholic schools. We aim to capture the relationships, the learning, the community, the excellence, the range of opportunities, the values, the pathways to the future, the faith life − all grounded in a close relationship with God.
This is a very exciting time for Catholic schools as the system is also moving through a phase of significant development and expansion. Last year we announced that two new high schools would be built in Chisholm and Medowie (to open in 2018 and 2020 respectively) and the expansion of two other high schools would also take place from 2018 at St Joseph’s Lochinvar and St Mary’s Gateshead (from years 7-10, to 7-12).
This campaign is just the start of our celebrating the very exciting and imminent ‘Vivid Future’ of Catholic education in the Hunter and Manning regions.
From mid-May we invite you to meet just some of the faces of Catholic education in our region, which represent our larger Catholic community and capture the essence of Catholic schools – ‘Vivid Everyday’.
Gerard Mowbray is Assistant Director, Catholic Schools Office. Please visit www.mn.catholic.edu.au.