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40 years in Catholic education recognised

Education Minister Kate Jones presents a Spirit of Catholic Education Award to
Dr Peter Webb

DR Peter Webb has received a Spirit of Catholic Education Award for more than 40 years of teaching, challenging and transforming the lives of students.

The Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia, teacher was presented with his award by State Education Minister Kate Jones during the official launch of Catholic Education Week (CEW)celebrations hosted by St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch Valley, in Cairns.

The launch was a celebration of Catholic education in a vibrant, growing region with representatives from all over the state joining the St Andrew’s community and Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane and Bishop James Foley of Cairns, who concelebrated Mass.

The Spirit of Catholic Education Awards recognised outstanding contributions by individuals within the Catholic education community across Queensland and are presented annually as part of CEW celebrations.

Dr Webb said the ceremony and the experience of being an awardee was affirming and healing, including for his family.

“The congratulations from friends and colleagues in many communities reaffirm my answer to the question, ‘and why would you want to be a teacher?’,” he said.

“And sharing the awards with the other winners was a pleasure, because all of them are real, genuine, honest and wise, and they promise great hope for our Church and our Catholic schools”

A teacher for more than 40 years, 17 of those at Chisholm, Dr Webb quietly and consistently exemplified the spirit of Catholic education, as staff mentor, teacher, curriculum leader, and acting in leadership roles.

For many years, he has facilitated the ‘You Can Do It Parent Support Program’ supporting parents and students who have felt marginalised by the education system.

He helped both parents and students to grow in their learning and form learning partnerships.

For the last four years, Peter has been the College Prayer facilitator, leading students and mentored staff in classroom prayer and Lenten and twilight Prayer and Spirituality sessions as well as assisting on Year 12 retreats.

He also was an important member of the Caroline Chisholm Charism Focus Group, assisting in articulating a clear charism statement for the college and contributes to college life with great generosity and humility and in a genuine spirit of gratitude and Christian joy.

Dr Webb said he remembered his first experience of Catholic education as a child at St Patrick’s, Emerald, when father built a merry-go-round with his friend Jack Finch.

“It stood in the playground for years, so that our own children later swung on it, until Workplace Health and Safety did for it,” he said.

“Then I remember magnificent high school teachers at St Brendan’s, Yeppoon.

“When we had a recent reunion, men spoke warmly and with great joy of those times.

“And I remember saying in enrolment interviews at Mt Saint Bernard College, Herberton, when I was principal, after the parents and intending students said all that they hoped to gain from our school, ‘and what will you put in the well so the well doesn’t run dry?’.”

CEW celebrates the distinctive ethos of Catholic schools and the many journeys our students and staff are making in teaching and learning, in faith, and in family and community life.

It also was the first time the launch was held outside Brisbane.

The awards are proudly supported by the QT Mutual Bank (QTMB), the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund (ACSRF) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU). 


Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101