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The Catholic Schools Office (CSO), is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of systemic schools which educate more than 18,000 students in 45 Primary schools, 10 Secondary schools and one K-12 school in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

 

The CSO employs more than 1200 teachers and around 550 support staff. Our main focus is providing support for schools to ensure each student receives a quality education and has the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

 

Catholic schools seek to develop spirit, mind, body and character and to cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope in the future. As a Catholic Schools Office, we model ourselves on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels and through the teachings of the Catholic Church. 


We invite you to look around our website, become familiar with the uniqueness of Catholic education, your local Catholic school, the many initiatives offered and why we believe Catholic education is the right choice to make.

29

APR

We are in Week 1 of Term 2.

There are 63 days until the end of Term 2, 2016 (01/07/2016).

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Combined Newcastle Schools ANZAC Commemoration

Tuesday 26 April 2016

As we welcome everyone back to the second term of the school year, I am struck by the fact that the commemoration of our ANZAC traditions has bookended our term one school holidays. Term one ended with schools engaging in various activities to honour our servicemen and servicewomen, and our return to school and commencement of Term 2 follows the commemoration services held in our communities.  

Each year I am invited to attend the Combined Newcastle Schools ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony held at the Civic Theatre. Whilst I am not always able to attend this annual ceremony, I certainly try to get to as many as I can.

The compelling aspect of this commemoration is the manner in which the students from the Catholic, state and non-government secondary schools in the city portray through drama and music the terrors, tragedies and futility of war.

This year, the theme of the ceremony focused on the upcoming centenary of the Battle of Fromelles, which was the first engagement of Australian troops on the Western Front in France in July 1916.

This battle featured the greatest loss of Australian lives in a single night with almost 2000 men losing their lives and over 3000 wounded.

The way in which the students portrayed the tragedy of Fromelles was spellbinding. There were 1400 mainly primary school students in attendance and there was not a sound from them throughout the hour long ceremony.

Most importantly this production reflected strongly on the utter devastation of war and its impact on the troops involved and on their parents and family members back in Australia.

This was made particularly relevant as present in the audience were family members of soldiers from the 30th Battalion of the 5th Australian Division which was made up mainly of men from Newcastle and the Hunter district. Many of these men had been listed as missing, believed dead as they had no known grave. The work of a former teacher Lambis Englezos in locating mass grave sites behind German lines in the battle fields and encouraging the Australian and British Governments to act on his discoveries has led to the identification of many of these Hunter men.

Lambis was present as an honoured guest and was visibly moved by the quality and realism of the students’ portrayal of this tragic piece of Australian history.

This annual commemoration provides senior students from the city’s secondary schools with an incredible leadership and educational experience which they then pass on to their audience of fellow students and community members through their creative and performing arts skills. 

To all involved in the organisation of this superb recognition of the tragedy and senselessness of war, I extend my sincere congratulations. 

The blog item RAY COLLINS: Combined Newcastle Schools ANZAC Commemoration first appeared on mnnews.today, your local source of Catholic news for Newcastle, Maitland and the Hunter Valley. Follow mnnews.today on Twitter and Instagram.

Read More

The CSO is pleased to announce that it will build two new high schools and extend two existing high schools, one of the single biggest developments to be made to Catholic education in the diocese's 180 year history. Read more.

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