Principal Bec O’Connor, Principal, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Gayndah with some of her students.
We are always keeping this at the forefront of our curriculum planning. It is also about being culturally responsive to our teaching to ensure all students get access to what they need.
Deidre Young is the foundation Principal of McAuley College, starting at the school in 2016.
Were you led to leadership, or mentored by a peer or BCE to seek your role?
I think innately I have always had a tendency to lead. I have been the captain of many a sporting team in my younger years, and always keen to add a level of organisation or vision to something that will ensure a more successful outcome for all involved. It was a natural progression, and whilst I did fight it, not ever wanting to come out of the classroom, it was only natural that eventually the joy of teaching was more and more difficult to balance in a Senior Leadership role. I have always loved the privilege that comes from working in leadership, setting others up to build their capacity to be successful in their endeavours.
How is leading a school in a regional/rural area so fulfilling?
There is such a joy that comes from leading a school in a region setting. The capacity to connect with; and be an integral part of the community is the lived experience. There is incredible trust, openness and authenticity that is just a blessing. I have loved being a part of Beaudesert and the Scenic Rim. What a beautiful part of the world, and my family and I have been blessed to be welcomed.
What role does your unique community play in the success of your school and the education of the children attending?
My role is to build the capacity of my teachers so in their work they can build opportunity for our young people. Having just celebrated the graduation of our inaugural Year 12 students, I am immensely proud of the pathways we have provided for each and every student to achieve their best and be well set for the next phase of their journey.
What do you see are the benefits of working in a rural/regional BCE school?
Community, acceptance, pride! There is an amazing sense of achievement around the milestones, acknowledging the hard work and contribution of everyone to achieve the vision. There is a greater sense of everyone playing a part and incredible ownership of the journey.
How can/does your school help create a more equitable, inclusive future?
Through our work, we ensure equity for all. This is across all aspects of College life. We have role models in place for everyone to relate to and include Student Voice to ensure our students can contribute. We celebrate important days like International Women's Day, Harmony Day and so on, to highlight the call for us to reflect on our words and actions that have impact and realise change. We invest in building young people in the likeness of Jesus and Catherine McAuley, so they can embrace qualities that guide them in their work transforming and being Change Agents for the generations to come.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101