Get to know some of BCE’s Principals in their new roles - Catherine Connors


Image credit: Australian Catholic University.

Principal Catherine Connors – St Finbarr’s Primary School Ashgrove 

Catherine Connors is truly an example of ‘a woman breaking through to Principalship.’ 

She has achieved her first role of Principal at St Finbarr’s Primary School Ashgrove just 12 months after considering herself a worthy applicant, thanks to a BCE program of the same name – BCE Women Breakthrough to Principalship. 
Women Breakthrough to Principalship is also the name of the BCE leadership program Catherine was nominated for and completed last year, and which she credits with guiding her to apply for her first principalship role after eight years working in various school leadership roles.  
Coming from a corporate and not-for-profit background, Catherine says that this pathway to principalship is one, despite her love of teaching and her true sense of vocation, that she didn’t expect.  
“At the start of 2022 I never would have dreamt I would be where I am now in such a short timeframe. 
"I can’t wait to meet and immerse myself into my new school community.  
“I’m looking forward to learning what is important to teachers, students, and parents at St Finbarr’s, developing new partnerships, and I am excited to co-create a path forward for our school.” 

As a new leader, Catherine said she’s keen to understand how she can best serve her community in her new role, through skills she said she refined and honed while in the principalship program.  

“My core values are authenticity, excellence and joy – and I hope to bring these to my new school,” she said.  

“The program gave me time to reflect on these values and to consider how to collaboratively create a culture which staff and students are excited and inspired to be part of. 

“One of the big personal turning points for me, that happened due to being part of the program, was having the courage to say aloud, ‘yes - I’d like to be a Principal, and yes - I think I do have some of the skills to inspire, engage, and take a school community forward.’ 

“The program really validated my dreams and aspirations as a leader. It was a brilliant opportunity to be inspired by other women who are gifted leaders, and to develop connections across Brisbane Catholic Education, that I will value for years to come.”  
Catherine’s leadership experience includes Assistant Principal Religious Education at St Matthew’s Primary School Cornubia and Acting Assistant Principal Religious Education St Francis Xavier Primary School Goodna.  

We wish Catherine, her leadership and staff teams, and students and school community all the best for 2023. 

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