New learning centre inspires courage and determination

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4 July 2024

opening the new learning centre

A new learning centre at Penola Catholic College, Broadmeadows, draws on a powerful story of determination and courage to inspire current and future students.

The Annie Brice Building is the newest facility at the college’s Broadmeadows campus, providing a mature and flexible learning environment for students in Years 11 and 12. The centre is named in honour of Annie Brice, a proud Boandik woman from South Australia, who was a student and friend of Mary MacKillop.

‘As Annie embraced the educational opportunities that Mary and the nuns offered her, she became a role model for other Indigenous children’, said Principal Tracey Kift. ‘Annie also recognised the important role she played in passing on the stories, traditions and languages of her own culture. With her deep commitment to family and culture, as well as the opportunities afforded by education, Annie went on to live a life characterised by courage and a determination to fight for justice.’

The new two-storey centre consists of general learning areas, staff areas, breakout spaces and amenities. ‘This building is already communicating powerful and aspirational messages to our VCE and VCE Vocational Major students of how their learning is valued as they prepare for diverse pathways beyond school’, said Tracey. ‘We are already seeing the impact that this beautiful new learning centre is having on our senior students.’

The centre was officially opened by Bishop Terry Curtin and Kathleen Matthews-Ward MP, Member for Broadmeadows. Guests included descendants of Annie Brice, including Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr, along with Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Executive Director, Dr Edward Simons, the college’s former principal, Chris Caldow, and members of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

The school is thankful for a grant of $2 million from the Victorian Government towards construction of the centre.

opening the new learning centre