St Joseph’s Primary, Collingwood – 150th Anniversary

Mr WYNNE (Richmond) – Last Saturday I was delighted to attend the 150th anniversary of the formation of St Joseph’s Primary School in Otter Street, Collingwood, one of Melbourne’s oldest Catholic schools providing educational and spiritual enrichment for children in the Collingwood area. For more than 100 years the Sisters of Charity have devoted themselves to this school, building its culture and educational environment, and over the last 19 years under the leadership of Mrs Patricia Taylor that legacy has continued to thrive. A mass was held under the leadership of parish priest Fr Peter Hoang and co-celebrated with three former parish priests, including an old friend, Fr Ernie Smith. The launch of the history of the school written by Catriona Banks appropriately completed the formal proceedings. Celebrations continued in the new library and multipurpose facility, a wonderful new addition funded by the Gillard Federal Government. St Joseph’s is a great school that has always held true to its values, and I was honoured to take part in this milestone event.

There is still, of course, one issue remaining to be resolved there – that is, the reconstruction of the church that was sadly burnt down a few years ago. It is a matter that is currently being contested in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and we look forward to the outcome of VCAT’s deliberations within, I understand, a short period of time. Nonetheless St Joseph’s is a wonderful school with an extraordinary history which has always stayed true to its values of standing with the poorest in the community and supporting many of the residents living in the public housing estate directly opposite. I commend St Joseph’s and the leadership of the principal, Mrs Taylor.