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History-Making Amalgamation

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More than 2000 students gathered from the three merging schools at Liverpool. PHOTOS: Giovanni Portelli

The historic western Sydney suburb of Liverpool will have the first systemic Catholic school in the Sydney Archdiocese to cater for students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

In 2020 All Saints Catholic Primary School in Liverpool (Kindy to Year 6), All Saints Catholic College, also in Liverpool (Years 7 to 10), and All Saints Catholic Senior College in Casula (Years 11 and 12), will combine as one comprehensive school with more than 2,000 students.

“Liverpool, you’re making history,” Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Southern Region, Dr Vickie Laverato, said during the All Saints Day Mass in Liverpool.

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“In 2020 you will be the very first [systemic] Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Sydney that will be one school, K to 12. It’s amazing.”

Dr Vicki Laverato, director of Sydney Catholic Schools Southern Region, addresses over 2,000 All Saints students on All Saints Day in Liverpool. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

The first school in Liverpool had been started by lay people in 1834 and another was opened by the Sisters of Charity in 1879. The Patrician Brothers also arrived in Liverpool soon after and contributed significantly to the education of Catholic students.

“Those in Kindergarten today will graduate in 2031,” Dr Laverato said.

“Goodness knows what Liverpool will look like then but I can tell you now, universities are moving into the area, medical facilities have been expanded, you won’t recognise the Liverpool that our current Kindergarten students will face.”

Executive Principal, Steven Gough, who will oversee the amalgamation of the three All Saints schools, said the desire to bring the schools together had come originally from the community.

All Saint's Feast Day Mass
There were over 2.000 students, staff and parishioners at All Saint’s Feast Day Mass at All Saint’s Catholic College Liverpool, November 1st, 2018 PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“There’s been a lot of good will that’s existed across the three schools and the parish. The three schools need to future-proof the community and consolidate that good will in sharing resources and facilities,” Mr Gough said.

“But it’s been based on the good will of the leaders, through All Saints parish priest, Fr Paul Monkerud, and Sydney Catholic Schools. We’ve worked together in bringing about a connection. We will be the first fully functional K to 12 school in the system from 2020.”

Principal of the secondary college, Mr Michael Hollis, said the plan to create one school over two campuses—Liverpool and Casula—was a natural progression.

“It’s just a natural partnership, building on what has already been established,” Mr Hollis said.

Michael Hollis, Principal of All Saints Catholic College (Year 7 to 10). PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“This is forging new territory, breaking new ground. It’s a brave new world. And it makes sense within this community, with three schools sharing the same name and the same families. There’s a logic to it.

“We’re looking very closely at the transition between the primary and secondary years. There’s a lot of work that we do with the primary school students here, with our senior staff, and we’re especially working towards an effective transition for Year 10 students into Year 11.”

Assistant priest at All Saints Parish, Fr Thomas Stevens, said it would be an important milestone for the community, including the parish.

“I think it’s an important reminder for us all that this is one community. For that to be formally done in terms of a school structure, particularly given the history of the Liverpool parish, it’s a great example of where we go in terms of a united community, both in our school and in our parish,” Fr Stevens said.

All Saint's Feast Day Mass
All Saints students, left to right: Jonathon Mayorga, Year 9, Blaise Pereira, Year 11, Kira Rosch, Year 11 and Shayden Vaughan, Year 8. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Students from the three schools also expressed excitement about becoming one school community.

“We’ll have all our friends together and we’ll grow in the community with our peers as we go through,” Year 8 student Shayden Vaughan said.

“It’s good because we can work directly with other people and establish programs,” said Year 9 student Jonathon Mayorga.

“For example, I wanted to start the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and now they’re hopefully going to start it between our college and the senior college. It’s going to bring us closer together.”

Year 11 student, Kira Rosch, said she found the amalgamation “very exciting”.

Year 6 student at All Saints Catholic Primary School in Liverpool, Jack Debourbon. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“I think internally it will be a lot better. I feel there will be more communication.”

Classmate Blaise Pereira agreed, saying, “I think it’s a really good decision because we were already so close to each other and I think it’s that extra step that we need to become a bigger community. I think it will work more cohesively as well in terms of resources and ideas.”

“It’s great because everyone is going to be there,” Year 6 student, Jack Debourbon said.

“It’s going to be very cool to have everyone together.”

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