Welcome to the 2020 school year at Brigidine College!

The school year at Brigidine College began on 29 January with a warm welcome to students and families. The enthusiasm and energy with which our students greeted the new school year, as well as their active engagement from the beginning, has certainly assisted our new students settle quickly. I would particularly commend our Year 10 ‘Big Sisters’ walking the extra mile with their Year 7 buddies for the first few days. The Year 12 student leaders have also provided that wonderful energy to engage in the year.

The Feast of St Brigid, our Patron Saint is celebrated on the 1st February. According to the Ancient Celtic calendar in Ireland, the 1st February is the first day of spring and heralds in the beginning of new life and warmer weather after the long cold winter.  It is apt therefore that Brigid’s feast day occurs at the beginning of the new school year. This was an opportunity to celebrate Daniel Delany with the Delany House (Patron) Mass Day.

Indeed, Brigid’s spirit lives in our beginning. It is reassuring that characteristics of the St Brigid we know from the ancient stories are part of the everyday at Brigidine College. The warm welcomes, the laughter, the cheerfulness remind us of the beautiful, intelligent, quick and lively St Brigid whose kind heart and generosity were legendary.

For Brigidine College in 2020, it is particularly poignant that the focus for our community is one of Justice. This will be a year where justice will be explored in classrooms, our offices and playing fields to embrace what justice is for everyone.  As we unpack the Kildare Ministries Justice Charter, our community is invited to welcome all with the dignity and respect afforded by God and presented to each of us. Not only are exciting events planned, but the opportunity to touch something deeper within all of us identifies why we continue to provide an invitation to the most vulnerable and provides a rich engagement for all in our community.

In a similar way from the Gospel readings, everyone is called, both individually and as a Church, to be disciples of Jesus.  The mission is one of teaching and healing where through the sacraments, people are invited to respond to God’s call, where we gain personal strength through prayer and engagement with each other.  This call also challenges us to build our lives, homes and communities in the justice and peace Jesus proclaimed.

“What does it mean to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8)?”

Strategic Focus: 2020

Living Justice Charter – Kildare Ministries

Literacy and Numeracy engagement

Differentiation – Compass Program and Access and Diverse Learning Centre

Senior Assessment and Reporting

Staff Wellbeing

Student Formation

Staff Collaborative Engagement and Leadership

College Mass and Senior Student Commissioning

Celebrating our 91st Anniversary Mass in Kildare Hall was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the legacy bestowed on us by the Brigidine Sisters and the generations of families, students and staff that have contributed to our wonderful community.

I also acknowledge the tremendous work our current Year 12 students and leaders have provided, as they prepare to embark on a truly memorable year in Queensland education. These young women have embraced their leadership and continue to share their gifts across the College.  Year 12 students received their senior badges on Friday 6th February in Kildare Hall.

In the words of Erin Ahern (past student, reflecting on her friendship with Mother Foley, first College Principal, 1934):

“know about the failures and successes, experience sorrow and joy, and

realise that life is a great adventure – you can make it so, no matter what

your destiny might be.”

Staff News

With staff changes organised during Term 4, 2019, and a few late changes over the Christmas holidays we welcome new staff to our College:

Luke Critchley         English/Religious Education

Troy Millard              Mathematics/Science

Clare Nelson             Technologies/Religious Education

Kate Tobiano             Science/Physical Education

Toby Ratcliffe            English/Humanities

Teresa Dixon              Mathematics

Debbie Everett           Humanities/Religious Education

Radhika Gujar            Accounts Payable

We also welcome three pre-service teachers who are undertaking a teaching fellowship at Brigidine College:

Stephanie Thomas (UQ) –  supervised by Phillipa Holtz

Lauren Stuart (QUT)  –  supervised by Niesha Hart

Katie Mazzaferri (QUT)  –  supervised by Elyse Purser

We farewell Japanese teacher Ms Reiko Fukushima Byrom who is taking a position at a Sunshine Coast university.

Senior Results 2019

Congratulations to the Year 12s of 2019 who achieved wonderful results, with many students achieving their best results for the year.  Their commitment to their studies was outstanding and whilst sharing strong QCS results, all students truly achieved their best.

Year 12 Results 2019

OP 1 – 5 – 14.6%

OP 1 – 10 – 62.5% (2nd highest % we have had, 2015 was 67.4%)

OP 1 – 15 – 89.6% (equal highest % with 2012)

Across the cohort, many students also achieved VHA 10 results in a range of subjects, including Japanese, French, Mathematics, Chemistry and Ancient History.  We were also very pleased that 98% students were offered a place at university or TAFE, with over 90% achieving their first choice.  All students have achieved their desired pathways through tertiary institutions and traineeships and we wish them well for the future.  I also commend the teachers and families of these Year 12 students for their efforts and sacrifices made to assist the students in achieving their best.

Academic Assembly

All students celebrated the efforts and achievements of many girls from Years 8 -12 who achieved outstanding results in Semester Two last year.  The College Academic Assembly was held in the Kildare Hall on Wednesday 5th February, where we were able to congratulate and celebrate the efforts of students (Years 8 -11 2019).

Awards were presented to students for achieving Academic Merit, and for 2019 students were also presented an Award for displaying Academic Improvement over the past semester.

The College was joined by Vy Thao Dinh (Dux 2019) and Trinity Waller (former College Captain and Sr Patricia Whitby Award recipient 2019) to acknowledge their outstanding efforts on achieving wonderful results in Year 12 last year.  These outstanding young women are fine ambassadors and role models for our students, as they embark on their journeys this year.

Brigidine College – Marian Centre

As the new building nears its completion in March 2020, Brigidine College is pleased to announce the name for this wonderful addition to the College infrastructure.  The Marian Centre will be the epicentre of learning for the Mathematics, Sciences and Technologies at our College.  It will follow in the Spirituality of Mary, where a young woman’s spirit for learning will be enlivened by our faith tradition and connections with our God.  The Spirituality of Mary is:

A woman of faith and servant of the Lord
She embarks on a journey that involves light and darkness
A contemplative united to the Spirit and to her Son
She is one of the anawim in solidarity with all peoples
A la mujer para los demas (a woman for others) in the felicitous phrase of Father Jesus.

St Brigid’s Day – 1 February

As her feast dawns across the globe and Brigid spreads her cloak o’er all the world,

We grasp its folds together and, as one, lay it down gently, where there is want,

Desolation and crisis.

We cannot help but go at this sacred moment:

so much – so many – needs our hands, our hearts and our love.

We whisper peace, We dream together, We Hope


Brendan Cahill


Categories: The Brigidine Blog