Executive Director's message 16 November 2020


​​BCE Executive Director Pam Betts

THE weather is heating up – a sign that Christmas is approaching. Sunday week will mark the first Sunday of Advent and the last week of the school year. I think many of you would resonate with the chorus I hear of people ready to say goodbye to 2020! I do hope you are able to plan a well-deserved break during the upcoming Christmas holidays.

I had a wonderful trip down memory lane yesterday when, with four other past students from Our Lady’s College, we joined the celebration of our former teacher, Terry Cook’s, 90th birthday. Terry taught science and biology at Our Lady’s for 20 years. Myself, Gayle Cassels, Kim Brett, Helen Steffan and Michelle Jabore had an afternoon of recalling memories of our time at Our Lady’s College and our much loved Mr Cook. Today, we will again be recalling the stories of great teachers and staff members from our schools as we gather to celebrate the retirement of long serving staff. I am sure there will be rich stories shared by this group of special people who have made a difference in the lives of so many students over the decades.​

Inspiration from a Year 6 student

Supporting the Women's NRL State of Origin with Matilda Kelly and students at St Anthony's School, Kedron

It is rare for me to get an email from a student, so I was delighted to recently receive a message in my inbox from Matilda, a Year 6 student from St Anthony’s School at Kedron.

Matilda is passionate about women in sport and had put her case successfully to her principal, Martin Wilkie, for students at St Anthony’s to wear their team colours when the Women’s State of Origin was being played, just as they do for the men’s State of Origin series.

Matilda was not content with only students from Kedron donning their colours for the women’s game, she contacted me and asked if I could spread the word to other schools to support the women’s NRL State of Origin game. An article was in The Courier Mail on Friday with a photo of Matilda – a Blues supporter!! – and some of her friends at St Anthony’s wearing their team colours.  ABC radio picked up the story as well and I was on the morning program on Friday.  I hope some of you were able to join in this initiative. The story has a very happy ending for Maroon supporters – Queensland won the State of Origin game on Friday night. Well done to Matilda for flying the flag for women’s sport.

Darkness to Daylight

I was delighted to hear that many of our schools, including St Teresa’s College, Noosaville, and Mary Mackillop College, Nundah, again supported this year’s Darkness to Daylight campaign to raise awareness and support survivors of domestic and family violence.

I encourage you to click on the link to the St Teresa’s College story​ to read about the group of students, led by College Business Manager, Mark Roberton, engaged in a process to learn about the impact of domestic and family violence and then run 940 km through the night to raise money for this worthwhile cause. I acknowledge the commitment of Mark who has been a regular participant in Darkness to Daylight, running through the night each year to complete the full 110 km challenge. Well done to principal, David McInnes, Mark and the staff who supported the run and the wonderful St Teresa’s College students for their amazing commitment.


NAIDOC Week has certainly been different this year, but as they say necessity is the mother of invention and it has been a great opportunity to explore the new cultural resources developed by our Ngutana Lui team when schools were unable to visit the centre in Terms 2 and 3. Many of these resources have been utilised by schools during NAIDOC Week and will continue to be accessible to schools throughout the year as they focus on cultural engagement and reconciliation.

We were fortunate to have Michael Naylor from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation (QATSIF) visit our office during NAIDOC Week when we hosted a fundraising morning for this foundation. Michael, a former BCE teacher and principal, told us that QATSIF is now providing education scholarships to hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Islander students across Queensland, with many of the recipients in our schools.

One recipient of a QATSIF scholarship is Isaiah Levi, a Year 12 student at St Columban’s College in Caboolture. You can read about Isaiah here as he shares his story with us in the last of our Deadly Yarns articles – profiling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people connected to Brisbane Catholic Education. Our future is in good hands!

Farewell to the class of 2020

The official last day for the Year 12 class of 2020 is Friday 20th November. I am sure it will be a day of mixed emotions for our staff and their students. It is always a bit sad to see the students you have educated, guided, and nurtured for many years walk through the school gates for the last time. As difficult as it is to say goodbye, there is the reassurance they will be entering life beyond school with a strong foundation in faith and education.

To the 3608 Year 12 students who make up the Class of 2020, I wish you every blessing - may your future be full of hope and joy; may you seize life’s opportunities; learn from your mistakes; and never stop dreaming! I conclude with these words for our Year 12 students from the Second Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (9:6-8)

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Wishing you all the very best.


Pam Betts

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