The director of schools for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Wollongong, Peter Turner, will retire at the end of this year, after more than 45 years of service and leadership.
In a written statement, Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord said Mr Turner had made a difference to the lives of thousands of students, their families and staff.
Bishop Mascord said Mr Turner’s leadership had “advanced the mission of evangelisation of the Church here in the Diocese of Wollongong and throughout the Church in Australia”.
“As an educator and leader, Peter has made an exceptional contribution to Catholic education, in a career spanning more than 45 years.
“As director of schools, he has been preeminent as an advocate, negotiator and architect of authentic, effective Catholic schools and systems, in this diocese and beyond, at state, national and international levels.”
Bishop Mascord said the outgoing director would “forever be admired as a wise communicator, a relational leader, a man of faith and of integrity, courage, honesty, stewardship and compassion”.
“He has been unwavering in his profound commitment to the learning, wellbeing, growth and nurturing of faith of each individual child and young person in our care. He truly has lived the experience of knowing Jesus and making him known and loved.”
In an interview with the Illawarra Mercury, Mr Turner said he was proud to have played a part in the diocese’s significant enrolment growth.
“When I first came to the diocese, our enrolment growth had sort of flattened out but in the last few years we've become perhaps the fastest growing Catholic school system in NSW. We've grown by over 4000 students in the last six or seven years,” he said.
“But the major highlight for me is that our schools are just really great schools. We've had significant improvement in our learning data and our young people are being well educated.
“I think our schools are really good schools and I'm very proud of that. But I want that for all young people and I think all teachers and people who work in schools of any type are really dedicated, committed people and I admire them enormously.”
Director of Schools, Peter Turner, announces his retirement (Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong)
Praise all-round for departing Wollongong Catholic schools’ boss (Illawarra Mercury)