Catholic tech school wins federal funding tender

St Joseph's Vocational College in the NSW Diocese of Lismore, has won the tender to build Australian Technical College campuses in Port Macquarie and Taree.

The Port Macquare News says this means it receives federal funding, an amount still being negotiated, to become a technical college and extend its number of student places from 185 to 260. It says the deal could be worth more than $10 million.

The paper reports that the news has been met with elation by Port Macquarie's Catholic community, particularly parish priest Fr Leo Donnelly who started the vocational education program in Port Macquarie 25 years ago.

"I feel quite thrilled," Fr Donnelly said. "It was a long hard struggle in the early days to convince people that vocational education was valuable for a number of senior students.

"We have excellent schools in Port Macquarie. Every year the high schools demonstrate their academic standards by obtaining many places in universities.

"But that is not the direction in which many students wish to travel."

The college will offer trade training for year 11 and 12 students in areas such as metalwork and engineering, construction and hospitality, child care, retail, marine studies and furnishing.

In other education news, Queensland's Catholic Education Week (July 17-23) this year takes on special significance with the marking of 160 years since the first Catholic school in Queensland enrolled 56 students in 1845.

Queensland Catholic Education Commission Executive Director Joe McCorley says Catholic Education Week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the proud heritage of Catholic education and spread the 'good news' about the great things happening in Catholic school communities.

"The past 160 years has seen the emergence of exceptional educational communities whose people have made significant contributions to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders," he said.

Port's technical college wins federal funding (Port Macquarie News 15/7/05)
Catholic Education in Queensland Shares its 160 Year Story (Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane 14/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education Week, Queensland
Diocese of Lismore

Catholic, industry teams get nod for trade schools (Sydney Morning Herald 16/7/05)
Listen Up: Podcasting Has Arrived; Choral Thrill (Zenit 14/7/05)

18 Jul 2005