Clancy Catholic College celebrates education dream

The blessing and opening of Clancy Catholic College West Hoxton’s new school hall became an outlet for the broader community to celebrate both education and dreams.

Bishop Tony Randazzo delivered the blessing at a ceremony on 10 December attended by students, parents, teachers, parish priests and staff including Dr Mark Turkington, who the facility was named after.

Dr Turkington said he felt honoured that the hall bears his name. As Sydney Catholic Schools’ Southern Region Director, he had much to do with the planning and development of the school which opened 13 years ago.

“I was a bit gobsmacked by it all, but it’s wonderful,” he said. “Clancy has always been one of those pioneering schools. It has grown and developed over the years and their HSC results last year were amazing.”

We now have this amazing space to gather as a community.

– David Fetterplace

Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White said the hall was not just a building, but a dream factory that allowed students to engage in learning that supports their development and career aspirations.

He acknowledged all those who had helped to make the space a reality including the architects, builders, and government and parents who contributed funding to the $11.6 million project.

“Another reason we have a blessing and opening is to remember the original dreamers,” he said.

“This [school] over the past 13 years has stuck to the master plan. Everything has found its right place and this is but another step along the journey.”

Senator for NSW Concetta Ferravanti-Wells praised the school’s commitment to gifted education and for creating a space that allowed students to be actively involved in their learning while gaining a strong moral grounding. Her government contributed $2.7 million in funding to the project.

Principal David Fetterplace said the much-needed space had changed life at the college “quickly and profoundly”.

The 1,200 strong student community has had use of the hall throughout the year. It has replaced a smaller space that was often exposed to wind and rain as a school assembly venue, and is now used for parent-teacher interviews, performing arts and PDHPE classes and significant events.

A staff vs student basketball match to honour teacher Michael Bell, who died of brain cancer earlier in the year, was also held in the space in May and allowed the school community to raise both funds and awareness to combat the disease.

“We have been truly blessed,” Mr Fetterplace said. “We now have this amazing space to gather as a community and to celebrate who we are and our growing list of achievements.

“I‘d like to express our deepest appreciation to everyone who has been involved in the planning and construction of this complex.”

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