College community gathers for Celebration of Journey and Legacy

College community gathers for Celebration of Journey and Legacy

The Tenison Woods College community gathered for a Celebration of Journey and Legacy earlier this month.

Representatives of religious orders, former students, staff and community members gathered with the current college and parish community to formally open and bless recent building developments by the Archbishop of Adelaide Patrick O’Regan.

Boandik Elder and College Reconciliation Action Plan Committee member Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr offered the Welcome to Country to commence the celebrations.

These developments included the Early Learning and Community Centre extension, MacKillop Reception Community Centre, MacKillop Junior School Building and Gilap Wanga – Ngula wangingi mraata ba wanginyi Learning Community, including the Poplars Inclusion Unit

Thee formal openings and blessings offered Tenison Woods College an opportunity to acknowledge the story of Catholic Education in Mount Gambier on Boandik land that dates back to Father Julian Tenison Woods and Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop with her Sisters of St Joseph in the 1860s.

Catholic Education South Australia executive director Dr Neil McGoran, Archbishop of Adelaide Patrick O’Regan, Vicar General of the Diocese of Adelaide Father Dean Marin, South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools chair John Neate and Tenison Woods College Principal David Mezinec blessing the new MacKillop Reception Community Centre.

The college also celebrated the contribution of the Sisters of Mercy from 1880 and the Marist Brothers from 1931.

Principal David Mezinec said Tenison Woods College stands on the shoulders of the early school communities, St Theresa’s, St Joseph’s Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, St Paul’s Parish School, Mater Christi College, St Mary’s Primary School, Marist Agricultural College, Tenison College and Tenison Woods College.

Each community was inspired by their faith and the hope of a preferred future for their young as thriving people, capable learners, and leaders for the world God desires.

“Today, as the college grows, we have collaboratively decided to acknowledge our founders in the sub-school communities and zones of the school,” he said.

“The Early Learning and Community Centre introduces our children to the founders by naming the studios for our three-year-old children as Woods and Champagnat, while the Stepping Stones (Kindy) rooms are known as the MacKillop and McAuley studios.

Tenison Woods College Captains Teangi Stephens and Bree Robinson with Archbishop of Adelaide Patrick O’Regan.

“The MacKillop Junior School, including the MacKillop Reception Learning Community, accentuates a place of family, hearth ministry and invitation to the table, a hallmark of Josephite education.

“Champagnat Middle School emphasises the ‘becoming’ of adolescence, rites of passage and loving the adolescent unconditionally. This community including 7-8 Gilap Wanga – Ngula wangingi mraata ba wanginyi Learning Community, which pays homage to our Boandik ancestors, is a place of listening to and being at one with self, others and the environment.

“Woods Senior School acknowledges Father Julian Tenison Woods’ passion for science and ecology, with an inquisitive and innovative respect for God’s creation.

“The McAuley Student Services Centre puts the accent on welcome and discerning stewardship, with compassion for justice and a preferential support for those in need.”

Executive Director of Catholic Education South Australia, Dr Neil McGoran spoke at the event and offered thanks to all those who contributed to the recent developments, while at the same time “keeping a focus on what really matters – the students’ learning and formation, and your relentless care for them”.

Former college staff member Sandra Pearson, Head of Junior School Francesca Dickson and former college Captain Joanne Turley with their former teacher Sister Loyola Crowe.

Two hundred guests including members of the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Commissioners of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools, civic leaders, former principals, deputy principals, business managers, staff members, committed former school community members and parishioners celebrated with gratitude the shoulders on which the school stand, and celebrated the college’s plans for the future.

Guests also had an opportunity to tour the college and view artwork that captures our four founders.

The college’s Artist in Residence and long serving staff member Kelly Egan depicted the college’s founders in a contemporary and thought-provoking way.

“These wonderful pieces of art have been hung in the various areas of our college community to help us celebrate the legacy of our founders and the evolving charism of our college community,” Mr Mezinec said.

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