Catholic Education Week Awards

Photo from L-R: Very Reverend Peter Slater, Vicar General Diocese of Sale, awardees Ms Kelley Cooper and Mr Ernie Rijs of St Peter’s College Cranbourne and Ms Maria Kirkwood, Director of Catholic Education Diocese of Sale.

Catholic teachers and support staff shine at Awards Night

Outstanding staff from local Catholic schools were recognised for their commitment to Catholic Education at the Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Ltd (DOSCEL) Leadership Dinner on Friday May 27, 2022.

Three staff from St Peter’s College Cranbourne each received a Service Award in recognition of 25 years or more of service to Australian Catholic education. They include Executive Assistant to the Principal Ms Kelley Cooper, and teachers Mr Ernie Rijs, and Mr John O’Sullivan.

The three were among 11 staff members and three students from Catholic schools across the Diocese of Sale to receive awards on the night.

Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, Ms Maria Kirkwood, congratulated the award recipients for the wonderful work they do in inspiring faith and learning.

“Our schools are led by educators and support staff who are passionately committed to the learning, safety and well-being of each student in their care. We are very proud of their commitment, achievements, and service,” she said.

Ms Kelley Cooper began her career at St Peter’s College in 1994 as an administrative assistant and worked her way into senior administrative positions. She is currently Executive PA to the Principal and Executive Team. A highlight for Kelly has been witnessing the growth of the College from its early years to now being a multi-campus school with a diverse staff and student population.

Mr Ernie Rijs has been teaching in Catholic schools in Victoria and South Australia for 41 years He was a founding teacher at Lourdes College Traralgon (now Lavalla Catholic College) and joined St Peter’s College Clyde North campus in 2018 as a teacher and House Leader.

Mr John O’Sullivan has taught in schools in Papua New Guinea, Latrobe Valley, Melbourne and New South Wales. He taught at Nagle Catholic College at Bairnsdale for 13 years until taking up a position at St Peter’s College in 2022.

The Leadership Eucharist and Awards presentation launched the beginning of Catholic Education Week (May 27 – June 3) in the Diocese of Sale.  This year’s theme is ‘Go out into the world and spread the Good News to all creation’ from the Gospel of Mark16:15.

The Diocese of Sale covers 38 Catholic primary schools and seven Catholic secondary schools in a geographic area that spans from Melbourne’s outer south eastern suburbs, throughout Gippsland all the way to Orbost in the east.

Catholic Education Week is an opportunity for Catholic Schools to welcome people to attend open days and events and see the inspiring activities happening in Catholic schools every day.  For information on tours and enrolment contact your local Catholic school.