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Fatigue takes toll on school headmaster

Fatigue has been blamed for the abrupt departure of Fr Christopher Gleeson SJ from the position of headmaster of St Ignatius' College Riverview in Sydney.

The sudden exit of Fr Gleeson, one of Australia's leading Catholic educators, attracted intense speculation after it was linked with the departure of his personal assistant.

The school's acting head, Shane Hogan, said the high profile educationalist had spent 21 years heading two major Jesuit colleges - Riverview in Sydney and Xavier College in Melbourne - and "fatigue has taken its toll".

Mr Hogan said he already had a personal assistant to help him as acting head of the school, so when Fr Gleeson made his decision to go, his personal assistant opted to take a redundancy.

Sources suggest Fr Gleeson's departure was more likely linked to stresses he had faced dealing with the suicide of a teacher he had been forced to stand down three years ago.

Jesuit Provincial Fr Daven Day told parents, students and teachers in a letter that Fr Gleeson was standing down and would be "well served by a period of rest".

In his letter of resignation, Fr Gleeson said "the cumulative fatigue of 18 years as headmaster in both Melbourne and Sydney and the last two as rector have taken their toll on me".

Sydney Morning Herald

St Ignatius College Riverview | Rector
Finding God in all things: A talk given to the Dialogue Australasia Conference on Ethics and Spirituality, Canberra, April 17th, 2002 (Word)

25 Nov 2002