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Principal's Profile

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Principal - Mr Mark McGinnity

Monivae's current Principal, Mr Mark McGinnity, began his appointment at the beginning of January 2010.

Mr McGinnity was previously employed at St Ignatius Riverview College, Sydney, and has had leadership experience in several highly respected colleges in Sydney. He has a commitment and passion towards teaching and learning and has a comprehensive knowledge of the managing of both boarding and day education.

Mark grew up in Canowindra in rural New South Wales, and he, his wife Sue and daughter Kelly have settled into their new home at Hamilton with ease. His enthusiasm, energy and drive, as well as his understanding of country and regional towns, will be beneficial not only for Monivae, but also for the wider school community.

Mark had been involved in many programs at St Ignatius Riverview College that have led to improved academic results amongst students. Mark spent time in Term Four, 2009 at Xavier College in Melbourne. Whilst there he also found the time to familiarise himself with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Order and their philosophies. Mark has also spent countless hours getting to know the rich history of Monivae College.

Commissioning

On Monday, 1 February 2010 Monivae College commissioned its first new Principal in a decade, with the commencement of Mark McGinnity. The College was honoured to have in attendance for the event Bishop Peter Connors (Bishop of Ballarat Diocese), Fr Tim Brennan (Provincial of the MSCs in Australia), Fr Bob Irwin (MSC Director of Education), Fr Paul Castley (Superior of the MSC community in Victoria and Tasmania), Fr Patrick Mugavin (St Mary's Parish Priest), Mr. Larry Burn (Director of Catholic Education Office Ballarat), Mr. Laurie Cogger (Chair of the College Board), Mr. Bryan Roberts (Chair of the College Foundation), Councilor Marcus Rentsch (Mayor of Hamilton) and the staff, students and families of Monivae College.

First Address as the new Principal of Monivae College.

It is rather appropriate that the very first gathering of students, families and staff of this great College occurred at the old Monivae Homestead out on the Port Fairy Road on a similar day to this a Monday on February 1st in 1954 some 56 years ago. There are people present here today who were there on that very first day notably Mr Bryan Roberts, the current Chair of our Foundation, who was just a young lad beginning in Form 1 or Year 7 as we now know it along with some 37 other students and four MSC priests.

I have chatted to Brian and numerous other old Collegians and they have many fond memories and a great affection for this place. All have worked hard over many years to build up the facilities and the reputation of this fine College.

56 years later we have 640 plus students, 97 staff and only one MSC priest in the school. During the intervening years Monivae has grown to be one of the most well respected schools in Victoria and particularly the Western District. Its history has been rich and varied with great success in so many fields of endeavour.

Probably the most common theme throughout the College's time is that of the title to its definitive History published in its jubilee year in 2004 and that theme is "The Best You Can". This lyric is also woven through the College Song and certainly it is something we must continue to strive for in the years ahead and something about which you will hear much from me as time progresses.

However any good school can have this as its goal. So what is it that makes Monivae different to any other school in the area? We need go no further than yesterday's reading of Paul to the Corinthians where it emphasizes the importance of Faith, Hope and Love and of all these Love is the most important. As a Catholic school founded by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the love that Jesus has for us and that we show to all is at the Heart of what we are about. Listen carefully to Luke's Gospel throughout this year and you will continually hear of Jesus's love for all especially the poor and the marginalized.

Today is about custodianship of these traditions. As the eleventh Principal I have a responsibility to ensure that this College continues to be imbued with the charism or ethos of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. I have a responsibility to ensure that not only are your hearts educated but your minds are too and that you are nurtured and encouraged to be the best you can be in all areas of school life. I will work very hard for this school and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all as individuals in the coming months. Our student leaders whom we acknowledge today also have their role to play in enhancing the traditions of this place.

To the new Year Sevens beginning their journey just as the 38 students did 56 years ago, you now are part of the rich Monivae History and I hope that you grow to have the same passion as so many Old Collegians and Staff have for Monivae. For everyone of us here is a custodian of the heritage of this fine College, whether we are students who now build the reputation with our deeds, our respect for others and even a thing as simple as the way we present in public, or as staff and parents in how we speak about the College and how we work for the College to make it the best it can be, all these things are so important.

Thank you to all who have made the effort to attend today and also the many who have been involved in the preparation of today's liturgy. Thanks particularly to my wife, Sue, and youngest girl, Kelly, who have moved our family home to Hamilton and especially to the wider community here who have made us feel so welcome. May we all now move forward "Strong in Faith" responding to Jesus's love for each one of us by displaying that love to one another and striving to do the very best we can.

Mark McGinnity
1st February 2010