Fr Laurie Pearson

President of the Canonical Administrators

After Ordination to the priesthood at St Francis Xavier, Frankston in 1969, Fr Laurie Pearson served as Assistant Priest at West Preston, East Brunswick, Mordialloc and Yarraville. During 1974 Fr Laurie was a full time student at the National Pastoral Institute located in Melbourne and his main field of interest at that time was an exploration about Adult Learning and Adult Faith Education. Later on Fr Laurie took part in a sabbatical renewal program at Hawkstone Hall in the U.K.

Fr Laurie was appointed Parish Priest at Norlane and Clayton, then at the beginning of 2001 became Parish Priest of Mount Eliza. During his time at St Thomas More he has served as regional representative on the Archbishop’s Council of Priests and was Priest Co-ordinator of the Peninsula Deanery for some years.

In regard to Fr Laurie’s experience of teaching, in his role as a Catholic Priest he has been involved in Education in Faith in various situations. This has included teaching catechetics to Primary and Secondary students at Catholic and Government schools. Fr Laurie has never received remuneration as a teacher. His initial association with the College Board was as deputy to Fr John Hannah until his retirement, when Fr Laurie became President of the Association of Canonical Administrators of Padua College.

2016 has been an extraordinarily significant year for Padua College and one for which we can, I believe, be very proud. The work that has been put into developing a Masterplan for the College, an Educational Strategic Plan and a new Leadership Structure are among the initiatives that will impact upon the future of the College for a long time to come.

It has been good, this year, for the Board to have been able to listen to our Deputy Principals including Sam Cosentino (Community), Paul Fairlie (Learning and Teaching), Wayne Smith (Wellbeing), Sally Buick (Staff) and Michael Harrison (Mission) who have given their insights and explanation about the particular roles they play in the positions they occupy. It is important for us all to understand just what an all-embracing entity this thing called “Catholic Education” is.

I want to congratulate and sincerely thank Anthony Banks for the way he has moved into the role of Principal. Anthony is a fine Educationalist with a real vision. He has, in a very short time, brought his own charism to Padua College. I am convinced that Anthony is the person to steer our College through the times of transition that lie ahead. At the same time, I am sure that Anthony would want me to acknowledge the support and understanding he has received from staff, students and parents during his own time of transition.

It has also been a year of change and challenge for the College Board. I think all Board Members would say that it really is a privilege to be able to serve the College Community in this way. However, I think that nowadays we all understand that such an honour brings with it its own responsibilities. In March this year, the Board took part in its own inservice and formation at Moonah Links. As a result of this activity, the Board has instituted five Sub-Committees to facilitate its operation, namely: Board Development; Board Executive; Facilities; Finance; and Risk and Compliance.

It is important for us all to understand just what an all-embracing entity this thing called ‘Catholic Education’ is. ” ”

I am most grateful to Gabe North (Board Chairperson) who has been the driver behind this Board development process. Gabe has great respect for Padua and I know, is most grateful for what the College community has been able to offer her own family. But Gabe has certainly repaid us by her committed service. Unfortunately, Gabe steps down as Chair at the end of this year but will remain a Member for at least another two years. We look forward to welcoming a new Board Chair, who will bring their own special talents to the role.

Once again, thank you to all who have made 2016 such a special year at Padua. Good wishes to all who are waiting for exam results and looking forward to a new post-Padua way of life. Do have a wonderful family time over Christmas and into the New Year, travel safely and may God bless all that we do.

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