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Penola Catholic College is a regional Catholic secondary college in the north-western region of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The college is co-educational, and teaches years 9 to 12 (students aged roughly 15 to 18). The school follows the Josephite tradition (love, understanding and acceptance of others).
Penola Catholic College was established in 1995 and is set on 27 acres over two campuses. Three former schools were combined into two campuses, Sancta Sophia College at Glenroy and Therry and Geoghegan Colleges at Broadmeadows. The College name, Penola Catholic College, was chosen for the strong connection between Broadmeadows campus with Saint Mary MacKillop Sisters of St Joseph who established a foundling home on the site in 1901. Mary MacKillop opened her first school in 1866 in the small town of Penola, in the southeastern part of South Australia. Together with Fr Julian Tenison Woods, Mary MacKillop founded the order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. From 1901 until the late 1980s, the Sisters of St Joseph ministered to the local community and lived on this site.
The tree trunk on the emblem represents the cross and points to the life of Christ and is a model for the members of Penola Catholic College. The three Colleges from which Penola Catholic College has sprung is represented by the three leaves. The three leaves also symbolize the spiritual, physical and intellectual growth potential of members of the College. The tree also reminds us of the Penola, or the native aboriginal origin. The name Penola gives a unifying feeling of security, protection and care for its members.
The Association of Canonical Administrators of Penola Catholic College is governed and conducted by the Parish Priests of the Member Parishes. The current members of the College Board are as follows:
- Mrs. Joanne Grindrod - Chairperson
- Mrs. Annmaree Angelico - Deputy Chairperson
- Mr Peter-Damien McKinley - President of the Association of Canonical Administrators
- Mr. Christopher Blake - Principal and Executive Officer
- Miss Nicole Allan - Staff representative
- Mr. Stuart Harrison - Staff representative
- Mrs. Teresa Mattei – Parent representative
- Mrs. Diane Rufus – Parent Representative
- Mrs. Vivien Miles – Parent Representative
- Mr. Ray Turner - Parent Representative
- Mr. Matthew O’Rourke – Honorary Financial Consultant
- Miss Danielle Ciavarella – College Captain
- Mr. Charlton Pereira – College Captain
- Mrs. Jennifer Vinten – Business Manager
- Mrs. Sue Delaney – Secretary
The grounds and facilities on both campuses have undergone significant transformations since the college was established in 1995. The College will continue to guide this development in the years ahead using the Building Master Plan they have in place. A Performing Arts Centre, Digital Language Laboratory and Hospitality Centre on the Broadmeadows Campus are just a few recent additions to the College. There are also refurbished classrooms and outdoor sporting facilities. The Glenroy campus is undergoing a refurbishing program including a new outdoor recreation facility that was constructed recently. The Broadmeadows site has many historical buildings including the original homestead “Kerrsland” that was constructed in 1880. There are some buildings that still stand from St. Joseph’s Babies Home including the magnificent St. Joseph’s Chapel completed in 1924.
The college has what is known as a House Group System. Students are divided into six House Groups. They compete for House points in debate, sports and other extra-curricular activities. The six House Groups are:
- Mackillop – named after Mary MacKillop, represented by the colour orange.
- Nolan – named after Sister Livinus Nolan, long serving Victorian Catholic school educator and member of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Nolan is represented by the colour purple.
- Geoghegan – named after one of three colleges amalgamated to form the College, and is represented by the colour green.
- Smyth – named after Thomas Smyth, founding Principal of Penola Catholic College and is represented by the colour blue.
- Therry – named after one of three colleges amalgamated to form the College and is represented by the colour gold.
- Sancta Sophia – named after one of three colleges amalgamated to form the College and is represented by the color red.
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