Rosalie old boys lobby Bathersby to keep school open

Former students of Marist College Rosalie in Paddington, Queensland, have teamed up with local, state and federal politicians in a bid to save the loss-making school from closure.

The college, which has 211 students, lost an estimated $600,000 last financial year and was unable to pay an additional $200,000-plus towards a Catholic schools contribution to a common funding pool, according to a Courier-Mail report.

Catholic Education warned in March that the school might have to be closed and the land sold to help pay for new schools in outlying areas of the Brisbane diocese. Archbishop John Bathersby is currently considering whether or not to close the school.

Last month a group of Rosalie college supporters, the OurRosa Committee, gave Catholic Education a submission outlining how to return the school to profitability.

But OurRosa spokesman and former school old boys' association president Chris Begley said he was afraid their submission had fallen on deaf ears. "The school was opened in 1929 during the Depression and I find it astounding that anyone could contemplate closing it in the middle of a boom," he said.

"I think the school has been allowed to be run down over a period of years and I think it could break even in two years if some money was spent on it."

State Member for Mount Coottha, Andrew Fraser and Catholic Indooroopilly member Ronan Lee met Archbishop Bathersby at the weekend to try to sort out the issue.

Local councillors Jane Prentice and Geraldine Knapp and Federal Member for Brisbane Arch Bevis were also believed to be pushing to keep the school open.

Meanwhile, The Advertiser reports that St Peter's Catholic primary school in Victoria's Bendigo will today open its Knuldoorong Centre as part of NAIDOC week.

According to the report, Knuldoorong is a Indigenous Koori word meaning "all together" and the centre will provide a place for students and parents to socialise.

The school also devoted an entire day to cultural activities this week, and students revelled in the chance to play with lizards, paint their faces and throw boomerangs. But it is not just one day in the year that St Peter's students learn about indigenous culture, the report said.

"Our students participate in cultural activities every Friday, and we fly our Aboriginal flag as often as we fly the Australian flag," Principal Barry Ennis said.

"We offer video conferencing so our Koori students can link up with other Koori children in Victoria."

Big names join school fight (Courier Mail, 5/7/06)
A cultural education (The Advertiser, 4/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Marist College Rosalie
Marist Rosalie Old Boys
St Peter's Catholic Primary School, North Bendigo

5 Jul 2006