(From left) Coomera Parish Priest Fr John Echewodo;
Archbishop Mark Coleridge; Cr Donna Gates; Federal Member for Fadden
Stuart Robert; Queensland Catholic Education Commission Director –
Education, Yvonne Ries; BCE Executive Director Pam Betts; St Joseph’s
Principal Paul Begg; Cr Cameron Caldwell; Coomera Assistant Priest, Pauline Fr Jeremy Santoso and foundation students at the blessing and
official opening of St Joseph’s College
ARCHBISHOP Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has blessed and officially opened St Joseph’s College, Coomera.
Archbishop Coleridge told the foundation students, teachers and parents it was important to bless their college.
“Not everyone blesses a new school,” he said.
“But it’s one of those Catholic things we do to say this land on which the school stands is holy ground.
“It’s not just another bit of dirt, it’s holy ground because it’s where Jesus lives and moves and teaches.”
Archbishop Coleridge said it was Jesus and St Joseph, whom the college was named after, who would guide staff to teach, challenge and transform the lives of students now and into the future.
The Prep to Year 12 college welcomed its first about 300 Prep to Year 3 and Year 7 students at the start of the year.
Eventually catering to more than 1800 students, the first Year 7 students will graduate from Year 12 in 2024 and the foundation Prep students in 2031.
Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Executive Director Pam Betts told those gathered it would be interesting to see what the college looked like in 2031 – when the current Prep students graduated.
“We are living in changing times and I am sure the world these young adults will be graduating into will be vastly different to the one we live in today,” she said.
“The smart learning spaces we use will be even smarter and there will be new technologies that we have not even thought of.
“While we may see many changes by 2031, the desire to foster a love of learning in a nurturing, faith-centred community will remain the same, it is our constant.”
She encouraged the foundation students and future students to “take every opportunity presented, celebrate your successes and face any challenge with courage”.
“May your learning journey continue to be nurtured by excellent educators and guided by the Holy Spirit so that you have every chance to become the person that God created you to be,” she said.
Miss Betts said it took a lot of resourcing to build a school and thanked the state government for the contribution of more than $15.4 million, the federal Government for $1.8 million and a final contribution of $2 million from BCE to build the college.
“I guess you can say with state, federal governments and BCE involved, the process of getting here has been a great example of teamwork,” she said.
Archbishop Coleridge blesses a plaque and crosses that will hang in classroom at St Joseph's
Foundation Principal Paul Begg said the blessing and official opening was another milestone in the college’s story.
“To have so many people support what we are trying to achieve here is very important,” he said.
“Schools are places that shape society, there are transformational.
“This is not about the buildings; this is about something that will transform young people’s lives.”
He said the commitment in the first year from staff, students and parents in the community had been energizing.
“I trust that, in this first year and in years to come, we will continue to grow and develop as people through the vision of this great school,” he said.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102 Australia
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101