(From left) Foundation Principal Sonny Smith; Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann; BCE Executive Director Pam Betts; foundation students Russell Boustead; Sehaj Kaur; Emma Paratene and Beza Dejene; Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum unveil a plaque for the official opening of St Ann's School
ARCHBISHOP Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has blessed and officially opened Stage 1 of St Ann's School at Redbank Plains. The primary school, named after St Ann, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, opened its doors to the first 98 Prep to Year 3 students back in January. However, when COVID-19 hit, plans to have the archbishop bless and officially open the school had to be postponed. As COVID-19 restrictions lifted across the state the school organised for Archbishop Coleridge to join Our Lady of the Southern Cross Parish Priest Fr Mauro Conte for a special liturgy which began with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Aboriginal Elder Louisa Bonner and Kohlyn Rosser. In his Homily, Archbishop Coleridge told special guests, including Brisbane Catholic Education Executive Director Pam Betts; Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann; Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum; Ipswich City Mayor Teresa Harding and Ipswich City Councillors Jacob Madsen and Sheila Ireland; that the opening of a new school within the Archdiocese of Brisbane, took place within a much larger story. “A new school is an incredible achievement," he said. “So many people have to do so much to make it happen and to make it work." Foundation Principal Sonny Smith said it was heart-warming to see the foundation students experience the historic blessing and official opening with the archbishop. “The excitement on their faces was fantastic to see," he said. He said the celebration had been a combination of a lot of work since 2010 when the land was first purchased. “We've had a lot of support from a lot of people including our archbishop to make the dreams of a Catholic school in Redbank Plains a reality," he said. He said he was excited about the future and looked forward to the challenges that lay ahead. In her speech Miss Betts acknowledged and thanked the students and staff who planned and participated so joyfully in the blessing liturgy saying it was indeed a special day. She said the foundation of a new school did not happen by magic and thanked the State Government for their generous funding of more than $8.6 million and a further $1.8 million from the Archdiocesan Development Fund, which was an investment of more than $10 million and worth every cent. Miss Betts thanked all those who had worked tirelessly in the development of "this wonderful school".She wished the foundation students well as they began their exciting educational journey.“Just as a family makes a home, it is you that makes this school," she told them. “I hope that the vision of St Ann's school is lived out in you – of following your calling to be who you dream to be and contributing to a just and caring world. “I am sure St Ann's School will continue our mission to teach, challenge and transform young lives for many generations to come," she said.Part of the St Francis Xavier Parish based at Goodna, St Ann's will grow by one school Year at a time until it reaches Year 6. When full, it is anticipated to be a four-stream school catering for 780 students and employing around 50 teachers and support staff.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101