50 Year Timeline
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 A journey through time

2021 is a significant year for Catholic education in Western Australia, as we celebrate 50 Years Together.

We commemorate 50 years since the Bishops of Western Australia brought together Catholic schools from across their four dioceses into one State-wide system with the establishment of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia.

2021 is also significant for Catholic education nationally as we join with the National Catholic Education Commission, and schools across Australia to commemorate 200 years since the first Catholic school opened in Parramatta. The first Catholic school in the west is not quite this old, with our first school opening in 1843.

Catholic education in Western Australia has grown to 163 Catholic schools
educating 78,000 students and employing 11,000 teachers and staff.

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1843

First Catholic school founded in Western Australia in 1843

1843
First Catholic school founded in Western Australia in 1843

In December 1843 building commenced on a small church, St John the Evangelist that later became Perth’s first Cathedral.  This building housed the first Western Australian Catholic school which was

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1844

Religious Orders provided the foundation of Catholic education in Western Australia

1844
Religious Orders provided the foundation of Catholic education in Western Australia

Image: Sisters of Mercy. Credit: Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta website.

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1946

1846-1946 Centenary of the Catholic Church in Western Australia

1946
1846-1946 Centenary of the Catholic Church in Western Australia

1846 – 1946 Centenary of the Catholic Church in Western Australia “A hundred years”, says the Scripture, ”is but as a day in His sight’. While this is obviously true

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1970

A comprehensive survey of Catholic school needs in Western Australia was published

1970
A comprehensive survey of Catholic school needs in Western Australia was published

Image: Survey Papers. Credit: The Bees

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1970

1970 – 1979 Schools Timeline

1970
1970 – 1979 Schools Timeline

Image: Sister M M Joseph of the Sisters of Mercy. Credit: Marion Doss.

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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1971

Establishment of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

1971
Establishment of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

In May 1971 the Bishops of Western Australia brought together Catholic schools across their four Dioceses (Perth, Broome, Geraldton and Bunbury) into one state-wide system with the establishment of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia.

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1972

Appointment of Father James Nestor, Bishop Quinn and Dr Richard McSweeney

1972
Appointment of Father James Nestor, Bishop Quinn and Dr Richard McSweeney

Image: Bishop Peter Quinn. Credit: Archdiocese of Perth

On the establishment of the Catholic Education Commission, Bishop Quinn became the first Chairperson, Father James Nestor its first Director and in 1972 Dr Richard McSweeney its Chief Research Officer.

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1972

Dr Peter Tannock delivers speech “Quo Vadimus? Future Directions for Catholic Education in Australia”

1972
Dr Peter Tannock delivers speech “Quo Vadimus? Future Directions for Catholic Education in Australia”

Image: Long Road. Credit Siddie Nam.

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1972

Move to new office space in Nedlands

1972
Move to new office space in Nedlands

Image: Holy Rosary Parish, Nedlands.

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1974

Establishment of the Aboriginal Education Program

1974
Establishment of the Aboriginal Education Program

Programs were developed and, by 1976 22 Aboriginal aides were employed across Catholic schools.  The first Aboriginal Teaching Assistant position was first created in Holy Rosary School, Derby.

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1974

New premises at Henry Street Shenton Park

1974
New premises at Henry Street Shenton Park

In 1974, new premises at Henry Street, Shenton Park were moved into.

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1975

The Catholic Institute founded

1975
The Catholic Institute founded

The Catholic Institute was founded by the Bishops and major Superiors to train teachers (increasingly lay people) for Catholic schools. Subjects included scripture, theology and religious education methodology.  It was

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1978

Catholic Education office moves to Salvado Road premises

1978
Catholic Education office moves to Salvado Road premises
1980

1980 – 1989 Schools Timeline

1980
1980 – 1989 Schools Timeline

Image: Boab Trees in the Kimberley. Credit: Zest-pk

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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1985

Dr Peter Tannock appointed Director Catholic Education in WA and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of WA.

1985
Dr Peter Tannock appointed Director Catholic Education in WA and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of WA.

Dr Peter Tannock served as Director Catholic Education in WA and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of WA (CECWA) from 1985 until 1992.

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1985

Purchase of 50 Ruislip Street for Catholic Education Office Western Australia

1985
Purchase of 50 Ruislip Street for Catholic Education Office Western Australia

As the Catholic Education office site on Salvado Road, Wembley was proving inadequate, Dr Tannock, as the new Director began to seek out other premises. Sister Leonie O’Brien who was

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1986

Pope John Paul II opens Catholic Education Centre

1986
Pope John Paul II opens Catholic Education Centre

The buildings and grounds that are home to Catholic Education Western Australia are steeped in the rich history of the Catholic tradition in Western Australia. Catholic Education Western Australia’s head office in West Leederville was opened by Pope John Paul II on 30 November 1986 – the only building in Australia to have been opened by a reigning Pope.

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1989

Establishment of the University of Notre Dame Australia

1989
Establishment of the University of Notre Dame Australia

Image: University of Notre Dame Western Australia. Credit: University of Notre Dame Western Australia

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1990

1990 – 1999 Schools Timeline

1990
1990 – 1999 Schools Timeline

Image: South West, Western Australia. Credit: Laurie R B

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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1993

150 Year Celebrations

1993
150 Year Celebrations

Thursday 9 September saw perfect weather dawn for the official celebrations of Catholic Education Day and the 150th Anniversary of Catholic Education and the Church in Western Australia.

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1993

Therese Temby appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

1993
Therese Temby appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

Therese Temby served as Director Catholic Education in Western Australia from 1993 until 2003.

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1993

Bishop Robert Healy appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

1993
Bishop Robert Healy appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

Bishop Robert Healy first arrived in Perth in 1950 as a young priest.  After holding the role of Chairman of the CECWA for eight years Bishop Robert Healy was replaced by Monsignor Michael Keating in 2002.

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2000

2000 – 2009 Schools Timeline

2000
2000 – 2009 Schools Timeline

Image: Sister Irene McCormack

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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2002

Monsignor Michael Keating appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

2002
Monsignor Michael Keating appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

Monsignor Michael Keating appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia in 2002.

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2003

Ron Dullard appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

2003
Ron Dullard appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

Ron Dullard served as Director Catholic Education in Western Australia from 2003 until 2012.

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2010

2010 – 2019 Schools Timeline

2010
2010 – 2019 Schools Timeline

Image: Salvado Catholic College Opening

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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2012

Dr Tim McDonald appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

2012
Dr Tim McDonald appointed Director Catholic Education in Western Australia

Dr Tim McDonald served as Director Catholic Education Western Australia from 2012 until 2018. The Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA) and Catholic Education Western Australia Limited (CEWA), including

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2013

Bishop Gerard Holohan, Bishop of Bunbury, appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

2013
Bishop Gerard Holohan, Bishop of Bunbury, appointed Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

In 2013 Bishop Gerard Holohan, Bishop of Bunbury, was appointed Chairman of CECWA and remains in the role.

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2016

Launch of the first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) by CEWA

2016
Launch of the first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) by CEWA

Our history in Aboriginal education dates back as far as 1847, with reconciliation emerging as a system focus more recently. Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) are committed to ensuring that

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2017

Launch of “Transforming Lives” strategy

2017
Launch of “Transforming Lives” strategy

“Transforming Lives Strategy 2025” is a multifaceted strategy, with a focus on strengthening relationships between schools and their local Aboriginal community.

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2018

Launch of CEWA Child Safe Framework

2018
Launch of CEWA Child Safe Framework

The wellbeing and safety of all students is the highest priority for Catholic schools. CEWA is committed to child safety and leading and supporting a child safe culture for all

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2019

Launch of Vision for Learning

2019
Launch of Vision for Learning

Catholic Education Western Australia’s approach to learning is underpinned by evidence-based research, draws on the experiences and expertise of some of the world’s leading education experts and is enabled by

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2019

Launch of Strategic Directions 2019-2023 for the Catholic Education Commission of WA

2019
Launch of Strategic Directions 2019-2023 for the Catholic Education Commission of WA

Strategic Directions 2019-2023 for the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA) sets out the four key priorities for our system. The Strategic Directions is the result of an extensive

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2019

2019 CEWA Ltd was established

2019
2019 CEWA Ltd was established

In December 2019 CEWA Ltd was established by the Bishops of Western Australia.

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2020

2020 – today Schools Timeline

2020
2020 – today Schools Timeline

Image: Bunbury Catholic College. Credit: Bunbury Catholic College

We acknowledge our Catholic schools and educators through the decade.

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50 Year Timeline

Catholic Education Western Australia acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders, both past and present, of the lands on which Catholic Education Western Australia's schools, offices and operations are located.