St Francis Catholic school to open its doors in 2018

Calls for more education facilities within Liverpool council area will be answered.

St Francis Catholic College this year opened its doors to the community in the high-growth area of Edmondson Park.

But the permanent site won’t be built and ready for the students until 2018.

As the newest co-ed systemic Catholic school in the Diocese of Wollongong, it will be the first to educate children from pre-school to year 12.

A ceremony led by Bishop Peter was held on Thursday at the Edmondson Park site, where he acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land and paid respects to elders past.

Local Aboriginal elder Uncle Ivan was present to perform a traditional smoking ceremony to bless the site by burning native plants.

“I want to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land,” he said. “Today is symbolically about breaking the grounds for the school, the first gamut where we’ve had years K to 12 on the same site. It is a sign of the time and a sign of the needs in the future.”

Director of schools, Diocese of Wollongong Peter Turner said it would play a big part in the development of Liverpool council area.

“In this part of Sydney we educate about 30 per cent of the population in the Liverpool council area and Campbelltown area. It’s a really big population,” Mr Turner said.

“We believe we are making a significant contribution to the wider social aspect for this growth area.

“This site was chosen because it’s in the middle of the community. But it is also part of the Catholic Parish at Macquarie Fields. This site is probably one of the best we’ve had – it’s close to transport hubs and the train station, it’s close to roads and it was chosen for all of those reasons.

“We also have before and after school care for children. Whole families will be able to enrol their children from K to 12 so parents aren’t trying to juggle travelling to different schools.”

One of the students who attended the ceremony was 11-year-old Nereena Santos. 

“I’m really thrilled that I can be a part of this new community. Open minds and open hearts is about acceptance and cultural diversity,” the year 6 pupil said.

Her classmate Courtney said they would be the second age group to graduate from the high school and that it was a good development for future generations.

“It’s good to know we will have a permanent school instead of moving around and that future generations will have a stable and secure place of learning,” Courtney said.

The school formally opened its doors this year but is temporarily set at Oran Park. It will accommodate about 1400 students.


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