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Sacred Heart spirit shines

Catholic Education can confidently look forward to a new era of quality schooling thanks to the hard work of the community, the assistance of the catholic education department and an incredible $7million in funding over the past five years.

JARED LOUGHNAN March 12, 2014 12:02pm

The funding has provided more than 400 primary school students and teachers with a new school and over 270 secondary college students and teachers with new classrooms and trade training centres.

On Tuesday, March 11 the new Sacred Heart Primary Campus located on Woods Road was officially opened with official guests Bishop Leslie Tomlinson of the Sandhurst Diocese , Director of Catholic Education Ms Phil Billington and Federal Member for Murray Dr Sharman Stone along with Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield and many other invited guests in attendance.

Built in three stages from 2009 to 2014 the primary campus attracted an astonishing amount of community support and almost $5 million in funding. The new campus features four open learning centres, a library, a large gathering centre, modern staff and administration areas along with a large undercover sports arena. The last stage attracted $2.48million in funding and $290,000 from the school and other community support.

Catholic Director of Education Ms Phil Billington described the project as a “good example of the community working together”.

“Those people who have contributed and members on the school boards should be very proud of this result,” Ms Billington said.

Federal Member for Murray The Hon Dr Sharman Stone said she was delighted to be invited to the celebration of a new school. “What could be a better way of using Federal money than to build a new school,” Dr Stone said.

Sandhurst Diocese Bishop Leslie Tomlinson was also present to bless the school and participated in unveiling several plaques. Bishop Leslie Tomlinson described the official opening as a great celebration of both the relocation of the school and the new building.

Sacred Heart Primary School Principal Mr Paul Maher congratulated staff, students and families who have patiently waited for the building project to be completed.

“It really is a source of great joy and satisfaction to be actively involved in everything that is taking place in our learning centres,” he said.

“We are very proud of what we have been able to offer the children of Yarrawonga and region over the last 130 years and we are now very excited about what they will receive in the future,” Mr Maher said.

After the official ceremony students and teachers gathered on the sports oval to form a giant heart for an aerial photograph from a helicopter.

Soon after official guests proceeded onto Sacred Heart College where they celebrated the official opening and blessing of the new Ovens Broken Trade Training Centres for Allied Health and Engineering along with the new Father Madden Building.

Dr Sharman Stone again assisted in the official opening along with Bishop Tomlinson, who performed the blessing on the buildings.

The redevelopment of the school has attracted almost $2 million in funding over the last several years.  The trade training centres represent the final stages of the current facilities redevelopment program undertaken to provide general and applied learning facilities to house the college’s recent extension into providing year 11 and 12 programs.

“The trade training centres have been funded by the Federal Government and are designed to fulfill local district industry skills needs,” Principal Lew Nagle said.

“When planning these facilities, we consulted with local industry to understand where the college could contribute to easing existing and future skills shortages.

“It became clear that with our strong agricultural industry and manufacturing operations, engineering is an ongoing industry for the region. Our engineering workshop is an opportunity for our students to gain VET certificates in engineering, both metal and electrical, allowing them to go on to take up an apprenticeship and also to go on to complete an engineering degree.

“As with other regional areas, it is essential that we grow our aged care and disability management workforce.  Our Allied Health lab has been purposefully designed to provide a simulated health environment, containing a fully-equipped exercise area, medical and hospital equipment, and a disabled aids equipped bathroom.

“Many of our students undertake a VET course either as part of their VCE or as a part of our highly successful VCAL program.

“Our other new building provides an ideal general learning environment. Modern classrooms have been designed to suit senior learning styles with classrooms that can be opened up into larger areas, or closed into more intimate learning setting.

“We are going through a process of recognizing our heritage. Consequently, we have named this building after Father Madden who was responsible for building the Sacred Heart Church,” Mr Nagle said.

To further celebrate this incredible milestone in Catholic education a special feature supplement appears on pages 13 to 20.

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