31 July 2009

The Catholic Education Convention took place on July 29th – 30th, 2009 in the Wellington Convention Centre.

Over 1,000 people attended from all around New Zealand, making it a landmark event in the history of New Zealand’s Catholic schools.  Today Catholic Schools educate 66,000 students in 239 schools, they make up 75% of the number of students in State Integrated Schools.

The theme of the gathering was, “Be The Change”.  This focused on the special character ethos of the schools.  Seminars were presented by leading principals and teachers who provided ideas and inspiration, which will enable participants to go back to their schools and put into practice what they have seen and heard from others.

Highlights of the gathering were addresses by Professor Gerald Grace from the University of London and Professor Michael Gallagher whose address was presented by video link from Dublin. Professor Gallagher lectures at the Vatican’s Gregorian University.

The Minister of Education, the Honourable Anne Tolley, addressed the gathering offering encouragement to the teachers, principals, trustees and others associated with Catholic schools. She urged them to continue to deliver high quality special character education, which contributes to the mosaic of diversity which is a strength of New Zealand’s education system. She was well received by the gathering.

Catholic schools seek to positively contribute to the well-being of New Zealand society and the global community.  They are grateful for the support they receive from Government and the wider community.

Patrick J. Lynch