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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 44 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.



We are in Week 7 of Term 3.

There are 20 days until the end of Term 3, 2014 (19/09/2014).

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Diocese of Wollongong

Sunday 24 August 2014

Last week I spent three days in the Diocese of Wollongong attending a number of meetings and having the opportunity to visit some of that diocese’s schools.


Each year the Catholic Education Commission of NSW and the ACT holds one of its meetings in a diocese, providing the members of the Commission the opportunity to gain insights into how Catholic education is flourishing in that diocese.

Coupled with the CEC meeting are meetings of the Conference of Diocesan Directors and CEnet, the company established by the Bishops to coordinate the implementation of technology in Catholic schools across NSW.

It is always a busy but very enjoyable week.

The visit to the Diocese of Wollongong reminds me that our two dioceses have a lot in common, being based around major cities that have experienced similar histories and continue to have a lot in common.

The Diocese of Wollongong has as its base the city of Wollongong which boasts beautiful beaches and an industrial history that shared its importance to our nation, in the area of steel manufacturing, with Newcastle. It also has the beautiful pastoral areas of the Southern Highlands and, like our diocese, fast growing residential areas that are placing huge demands on the provision of Catholic education.

On Wednesday the Commission members were allocated various schools to visit and I had the privilege of attending a Primary and Secondary school in the city of Wollongong. St Francis of Assisi Primary School at Warrawong and Holy Spirit College, Bellambi provided me with many insights into the education program offered by the Diocese of Wollongong.

St Francis of Assisi Primary is similar to a number of our city schools, a low socio economic profile with a large proportion of students from backgrounds where a language other than English has been or is predominant in the family. Amongst the many great things happening in this school is the relationship of the school with its parish, evident in the involvement of the Parish Priest in the life of the school and in the involvement of staff in the life of the parish.

Holy Spirit College is a large Years 7-12 school with over one thousand students. It is a college facing the challenges many of our secondary schools face, including ever increasing demands for enrolment and a rapidly increasing need to support students with disabilities.

As is the case in many of our schools, the students with disabilities enrolled at Holy Spirit bring a special and unique element to their school communities and at the college I was privileged to witness their enthusiasm for their school and the wonderful care provided to them by the staff of the college.

A feature of the visit to another diocese is the opportunity to discuss with the Director of Schools and the staff of the Catholic Education Office the challenges they face in providing Catholic education to the various parts of the diocese. One significant challenge faced in the Diocese of Wollongong is the dramatic population growth in the south western corner of Sydney which means that a number of Primary and Secondary schools will need to be built in the very near future.

A highlight of our visit was a Mass attended by the Principals and student leaders of diocesan schools along with the leaders from the Catholic Education Office and the members of the Catholic Education Commission. The opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist with so many others who are involved in the Church’s ministry of education is greatly appreciated by the members of the CEC.

I would like to thanks most sincerely Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishop of the Diocese of Wollongong and Mr Peter Turner, Director of schools, for the opportunity to witness the great work being undertaken in Catholic Education in the diocese.

Traditionally Wollongong and Newcastle have been considered sister cities. What I observed is that the two dioceses have many things in common in the provision of Catholic education.


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