We were thrilled to join the University of Notre Dame Australia for the blessing and opening of the university’s new study centre in the heart of Oran Park this week.
At a special event attended by local leaders from the community, education and the Wollongong Diocese yesterday, Bishop Brian Mascord from the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong blessed the new facility and celebrated Mass at St Mary Mackillop Catholic Parish to mark the occasion.
Bishop Mascord said the opening had been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Mass and to welcome Notre Dame to the Diocese of Wollongong.
“Our vision for Catholic education is to provide high quality centres of learning, where faith is experienced and lived out as an integral part of the student experience,” Bishop Mascord said. “Notre Dame’s new facility will have a transformative effect on our ability to realise this ambition, both during and beyond the K-12 years.”
Our Director of Schools, Peter Hill, said the new facilities would provide students, teachers, and Catholic education leaders with the chance to undertake further study and professional development from a campus located right on their doorstep.
“The first physical presence by a Catholic university in the Diocese of Wollongong is an historic moment,” Mr Hill said. “This study centre not only greatly expands the professional learning opportunities for our dedicated Catholic school teachers, but also provides an attractive and accessible path to higher education for our students, many of whom may be the first in their family to attend university."
Notre Dame’s Chancellor, The Hon. Christopher Ellison, said the University was committed to providing more opportunities for people living in this rapidly growing part of the Wollongong diocese to access the benefits of higher education.
“The population growth in this part of Sydney is astonishing, which will only increase with future developments in the area, including the new international airport,” Mr Ellison said. “This facility provides an opportunity to strengthen the ongoing relationship between Notre Dame, the Diocese of Wollongong, and local Catholic school communities.”
Our partnership with the University of Notre Dame contributes to the strategic focus area Ensuring Catholic schools continue to thrive by providing more accessible opportunities for staff to hone their craft as effective and adaptive Catholic school teachers.