Week 3 Term 2 2017




Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,


I read with interest several years ago a reflection on the Federal Budget:

“…the budget papers are full of real information about the real priorities of the Government. It shows that we spend far more on defence than on education. It shows that we spend far more on subsidising fossil fuel use than we do on tackling climate change … But what the budget doesn't show, and never will, is why … we have convinced ourselves that we cannot afford to reduce indigenous disadvantage, invest in aged care or invest as much in public transport as we do on roads … The reason that the budget will never provide the answers to such questions is that they have nothing to do with economics and everything to do with who we are as a society.”

I do not intend to raise any issues of party politics in Australia. The above for example was actually written about a Labor budget and my commentary in this newsletter will regard the current government’s proposed changes to Education funding. That stated, I do encourage all Magdalene and community members to take an interest in decisions which will impact on their children (and society in general).

Quite often there is confusion and misinformation about how education funding works. For all the media’s various barbs against Catholic and Independent Education, the fact is that if Catholic Schools did not exist the expense to government to run their own schools across the nation would be insurmountable. Catholic Schools provide a quality product and fill a very important niche in Australian Education. In all, 1 in 5 students across Australia are educated in a Catholic school.

Secondly, Catholic Schools are often confused with Independent Schools. Yes, there are some Catholic Independent Schools (some in the newspaper have been named to be receiving excessive government funding), however, the majority of Catholic Schools are systemic schools – part of larger organisations – just as Magdalene Catholic High School is part of the Wollongong Diocese. 

Recent budget announcements therefore indicating state schools will receive over 5% increases, Independent schools over 4% and Catholic Schools over 3% are problematic. In short, considering that future indexation after 2020 is unlikely to match rising school costs, this highlights inequity. 

Furthermore, the Catholic Education sector has three additional concerns about the Federal Government's proposed school funding model:

a lack of prior consultation

funding uncertainty beyond 2020, and

an undermining of the Catholic sector’s autonomy.

In essence, the Federal Government is slowly undermining the Catholic sector’s ability to direct funding according to need and to keep low-fee Catholic schools accessible and affordable.

With this in mind, we would encourage you to consider these facts, speak about them in your friend and        business circles, and, where appropriate, bring it to the attention of your local federal member of Parliament.


We wish all mothers a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday!

Of course we must be careful not to alienate those families where loss or separation complicates matters and/or untraditional caregiver arrangements exist. Therefore we wish all who act in a ‘motherly’ role – mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, aunts or other close friends the very best on the day.

Indeed the importance of appreciation and thanks on a day like this cannot be overestimated – so we hope that all students are appropriate in their praise and recognition of your significant and ongoing work. 

And so for your compassion, your counsel, your willingness to drop everything often at a moment’s notice, for the time, the energy (and sometimes the exhaustion), for the kind words for the hugs and for your love thank you!



Mary, on this day when we honour all mothers, we turn to you. We thank the Lord whom you serve for the great gift of motherhood. Never has it been known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided by grace. Dear Mother, thank you for your "Yes" to the invitation of the angel which brought heaven to earth and changed human history. You opened yourself to God's word and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Dear mother, intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own decision to strengthen the lives of others. May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love- the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son.On this Mothers’ day, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us who have recourse to you…

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.



God Bless

Mr Matthew McMahon