From the Acting Principal

27 February 2020, 2:30PM

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On Ash Wednesday, we began the liturgical season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the Easter resurrection in our Christian calendar. Lent is a time for reflection and action, to reflect on who we are and what we want to be.  

Last Sunday, we were challenged in the scriptures to be “perfect” by forgiving others who do not always treat us as well as we would like. How is it that we should respond when we are wronged? This can be extremely challenging when emotion is involved.  

Human nature often leads us to desire a need to “square up” and get even. I have been there and acted in this manner, showing competitive styles of thinking and a win-lose mentality at different times in my life. I am not sure this approach delivers constructive outcomes, nor aligns with the way our creator wants us to live.  

The challenge lies in our own spiritual and emotional awareness. During Lent, we are able to gain real clarity around how it is God wants us to live through our prayer and reflection. We are also called to reflect on how we can enhance our relationships with God and one another, acknowledge our wrong-doings and to consider the changes we would like to make. This is where our growth can occur.  Prayer, fasting and almsgiving helps us to really “tune in” to how we are called to go about our lives. Lent gives us that opportunity to consolidate the foundations we have built as Christian people.  

How we live this out can be really simple. Even as we enter the College, the driveway signs remind us of the values of our community. How might we be more hospitable, responsible, compassionate, justice-orientated and respectful this Lent?  

In partnership  


Gregg Sharman
Acting Principal  

Vale – Mrs Annette McCulloch 

Last Thursday, we farewelled local leader, educator and friend Mrs Annette McCulloch after a five-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.  Originally from Sydney, Annette has taught at Stella Maris, Burnie, St Brigid’s, Wynyard and St Peter Chanel Catholic School, Smithton. Over this journey, Annette undertook many roles including Acting Principal at St Peter Chanel and Principal of St Brigid’s.   

Annette was a strong advocate for children’s needs. She was thoroughly committed to ensuring every child received what was needed. Annette developed systems and procedures in two schools to make this happen successfully. Annette’s tenacity and courage were evident in both her leadership and her fight with illness. I cannot ever remember Annette complaining. Annette was a woman full of spirit and will be missed by our community.  

In a fitting tribute, a procession took place in the main street of Wynyard to conclude the funeral. This saw an overflowing church follow Fr John onto Goldie St. This was an incredibly moving and fitting tribute to Annette and something we won’t soon forget.  

Thank you to members of this community who were able to attend the funeral, as well as those students who attended our short prayer in the College Chapel on Thursday to remember Mrs McCulloch.  

Rest in peace, Annette.  

New Business Manager 

We are pleased to announce that Mrs Gabrielle Woods has been appointed to the role of Business Manager and will commence at Marist Regional College on 4 March 2020. 

Gabrielle is a Certified Practicing Accountant and Auditor who joins us from the Legislative Council, Parliament of Tasmania where she was the Committee Secretary for the Public Accounts Committee. Prior to the Legislative Council, Gabrielle was the Corporate Services Manager at the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and was on the project team for major capital works to stabilise the penitentiary building. Gabrielle has also worked as Specialist Budget Analyst for the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance. 


At a personal level, Gabrielle has an interest in horses and owns a horse of her own. The role at the College is an opportunity for her to apply her considerable knowledge and skills to make a difference in an education setting while enjoying the rural lifestyle of the North West Coast. 

Please join us in congratulating Gabrielle on her appointment and welcoming her to the Marist Regional College community. 

TCEO Staff Visit  

On Monday we received a visit from Tasmanian Catholic Education Office staff, Chris Bracken, Donna Evans and Bobbi-Jo Bailey in relation to fostering the growth of our professional learning community.  

At the conclusion of the meeting, Chris took the time to speak with one of our teachers, Ms Ann Burke and followed up with the email below: 

As TCEO STEM Education Officer (in the job for 1 month), I have immersed myself in STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) education occurring in Tasmania across all sectors and also in Catholic Education Melbourne.  

Today, I had the privilege to speak to Ann Burke about the Science Project (Inquiry based learning) work she has undertaken at Marist since 2003. As a school, you are leading Catholic Education in this State for STEM based education; true to the model of STEM that Catholic Education Tasmania has nominated as one of its 3 priorities for 2020 onwards (hence my job).  


Highlights of the program that Ann has created and Marist Science, Maths and Digital Technologies teachers embrace, are integration within the curriculum (including links to the AC standards), creation of a ‘Science Fair’ to celebrate student work, 25 judges from the community each year, tangible local industry support, the opportunity for students to continue their STEM project education right through to Yr 12, and pathway for great projects to be entered in competitions at a state and national level.  

What has been created and grown at Marist is the equal of anything I saw in 3 days in Melbourne seeing the best of STEM related education in the Catholic system. Well done Ann, and all your helpers, on giving Catholic students in Burnie the best possible chance to be great problem solvers and stewards for a better world via STEM. What is going on at Marist is a fantastic STEM learning template (and with Ann’s permission), I look forward to sharing your journey and success with the 38 Catholic Schools around the State. 

This outside perspective is worth sharing with our community. Well done to Ann and everyone involved.  

 Junior Swimming Carnival 

Thank you to everybody involved in a successful Junior swimming carnival on Tuesday. We would like to acknowledge Mr Eddington’s effort and thorough preparation, supported by the Health and Physical Education team. Well done to all our staff who were able to actively contribute on the day as judges, announcers and marshals. Thanks to the SRC for their leadership and supporting our younger students. It is also important that we acknowledge our Media students for their presence, as well as those students involved in providing hospitality for the event. Finally, thank you to students for their active dissertation in the event. Participation rate is high, and you all need to be encouraged and congratulated for this. 

Bus Route: Penguin and Ulverstone Update 

Over the last month, we have been contacted by many families expressing their safety concerns for students travelling on the Ulverstone and Penguin bus route. 

The safety of our students is important us; please be assured that we are acting on these concerns and to date, we have written to the bus operator and the Department of State Growth to seek their advice and support in providing a more suitable outcome for our students. A meeting has been scheduled with the bus operator to discuss the matter. 

We are committed to advocating for the wellbeing of our students and will provide further advice to families as it becomes available.