Catholic education celebrated with launch of visual representation

27 May 2021

By Contributor

From left, former CEWA Director Ron Dullard, former WA Catholic Education Commission Chair Mgr Michael Keating, current CEWA Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce, current WA Catholic Education Commission Chair and Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan, former Catholic Education WA Director Therese Temby and former Catholic Education WA Director and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of WA from 1985 until 1992, Dr Peter Tannock. Photo: Matt Biocich/CEWA.

A visual representation of the unification of Catholic schools across WA through one education system has been formerly launched.

The artwork, by Whadjuk-Yuet-Ballardong artist Kevin Bynder, has been titled ‘50 Years Together” and was recreated in stained glass by Kim Fitzpatrick.

Commissioned by the WA Catholic Education Commission and launched at a special dinner to celebrate 50 years of Catholic education in Western Australia, as well as the 200th anniversary of Catholic education nationally, the artwork will be installed in the entrance of the CEWA offices in Leederville.

CEWA Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce said the establishment of Catholic Education Western Australia, with an increasingly important role played by the Commission and office staff supporting schools, has had immense benefits for dealings with government, for the standards of teaching and learning and the level of collaboration between schools.

Catholic Education Commission WA Chair and Bunbury Bishop Gerard Holohan addresses guests at the dinner marking the 50th anniversary of Catholic education in WA and the 200th anniversary nationally. Photo: Matt Biocich/CEWA.

“It has supported a commitment to the affordability and accessibility of Catholic education, enabling the offer of a Catholic education to marginalised members and segments of the broader WA community,” Dr Sayce said.

“A very special aspect of Catholic education is that we are part of the global Church.

“Our students benefit from learning and growing in this reality, with opportunities to experience community in prayer, liturgical traditions, learning connections and social justice action.

“We recognise our commonality with Catholic schools around the world, and in 2021 we join with the national Catholic education community to mark 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. 200 years on, we are an integral part of the education landscape in each state and territory, and Catholic schools are important hubs of learning and faith formation for many metropolitan, regional and remote communities,” Dr Sayce added.

Dr Sayce acknowledged the past few years have seen many Catholic school communities grow, especially in areas of the state with increasing populations, as thousands of families continue to choose a Catholic education for their children.

“I continue to be humbled by what I witness occurring each day in our schools. In considering the very real and present suffering, uncertainty and adversity facing our world today, our schools are far more than places of learning. They are places where our Gospel values are alive and well. They are places of love, of joy, of refuge and of hope”, she said.

Dr Sayce also acknowledged WA Minister for Education, the Hon Sue Ellery, affirming CEWA’s appreciation to the Premier and his leadership team for supporting all schools in Western Australia through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Bynder, a Whadjuk-Yuet-Ballardong artist, created a visual representation of the unification of Catholic schools across our vast State through one education system, which was launched at the 50-year anniversary of Catholic Education in Western Australia. Photo: Matt Biocich/CEWA.