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Catholic Education Melbourne and Marcellin College sponsored studies

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Catholic Education Melbourne and Marcellin College sponsored studies
by Jill Fitzsimons - Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 3:41 PM

Last week’s Eagle outlined the why and how of Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and Marcellin College’s sponsored studies program. This week we hear from staff currently receiving sponsorship from CEM and Marcellin College to complete a range of courses.

We congratulate them on all they have achieved so far and look forward to all they will bring to their current and future roles at Marcellin College and the Catholic education system.

David Bellis, House Leader (Mannes); Master of Leadership, Australian Catholic University (ACU)  2018 - 2020
Over the course of the last three years, I have been completing the post-graduate study, Master of Leadership. The collective knowledge and understanding that I have been able to obtain whilst putting the theory into practice with my role at Marcellin has been the greatest professional development I have experienced in my line of work. My understanding of a recontextualized approach to Catholic school teaching and the self-identity I want to envision in my style of leadership has grown after every unit. Whilst I am no doubt better for the learnings I have undertaken, I know that the role of an educator is be a lifelong learning and I hope that this post-graduate study is just the building blocks to help me be the best educator I can be. I look forward to the end of October this year when I hand in my final assessment and reflect on this wonderful experience that I have been lucky enough to have.

Sian Cameron, Education Officer School Effectiveness, Catholic Education Melbourne, Master of Leadership (ACU)  2018-2020
At Marcellin I have always been supported to access professional learning in its many forms. It was the desire to better understand the system-perspective of school leadership that had me set my sights on completing a Master of Leadership over the last 3 years. With only one assignment to now hand it, I’m lamenting the end to the joy and opportunity that the experience has provided me. I now see school structures and processes differently, I consider my ability to lead heightened and have a greater sense of how to positively contribute to a community. Studying at a Post-Grad level has challenged my knowledge and perceptions on topics as wide as Catholic Social Teaching and Leading Spirituality to Interpreting Literature and Data or completing a Capstone research paper. Continuous learning has been a constant in my career, and in my life more broadly. Like the young men of Marcellin, I have experienced pride and achievement in striving for my highest, though it has not come without struggle and regular lacks of motivation. The opportunity to study a Master of Leadership has reminded me what it’s like to be a student again: open to the possibilities ahead of you, armed with a broader looking future than what you started with.   
*Sian is currently on leave from her position as the Principal’s Assistant at Marcellin College. 
Laura Fordham, Learning Leader (Mathematics), Master of Leadership (ACU) 2019-2021
This year, I have begun studying the Master of Leadership degree at the Australian Catholic University. It has been a wonderful opportunity to challenge myself and go back to further study. As a teacher, I firmly believe that we are all lifelong learners and we should continue to find ways to invest in our own learning, not just the learning of our students. Like everything else, things have had to change a little this year with most of the units moving to an online platform. At times this has been challenging but being in lockdown has allowed me to focus my time on my study. This year I have completed a number of units including ‘Leading Spirituality’, ‘Theology for Leadership in the Church’s Mission’, ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ and ‘Leading Self, Leading Communities’. I have thoroughly enjoyed these units as they were centred around the heart of what we are called to do as Leaders in Catholic Education. Completing further study has ignited my passion for both education and leadership. I am incredibly grateful to the College for supporting my involvement in this post graduate study and I hope it allows me to give back to the College in return.
Erin Gamble, teacher, Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) (ACU)  2019-2021
It has been exciting to be given the opportunity to complete my Masters in Student Wellbeing, and I have embraced it wholeheartedly despite the challenges it brings together with trying to balance the stress of work, uni and a young family. The course has a big focus on mental health, which is quite fitting given the current climate of 2020. By shifting from a traditional model of psychology where the focus is on curing an individual, it challenges us to view our health as a continuum as compared to a dichotomous approach. Consequently, no longer is the focus on whether an individual is healthy or unwell, rather where they sit between the two imaginary poles. From an educational viewpoint, it highlights the importance of an inclusive and supportive school community which provides all students with the tools they need to live happy, fulfilled lives. The promotion of wellbeing is highlighted as essential to ensuring all students are better equipped to handle stressful and demanding situations, much like those experienced this year. Throughout this Masters, I have also been able to deepen my understanding of many wellbeing policies and strategies that exist, and I look forward to incorporating all of these learnings and new skills into my teaching at Marcellin College.
Clint Gifford, House Leader (Redden); Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) (ACU)  2019-2021
Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to complete study in the Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. Throughout the journey I have joined a cohort of educators from across the Catholic Education sector, bringing with them a vast range of experiences and knowledge. I have thoroughly enjoyed the chance to network, form quality relationships and share in the solidarity those studying at A.C.U. encounter. The program was structured to maximise face-to-face sessions, as well as pivoting online during the recent pandemic, and all units of study have enabled me to increase my understanding of our shared vision and goals of the faith-based, Marist education at Marcellin College. I look forward to completing my studies next year and utilising all that I have experienced to improve the educational prospects of our young men at Marcellin and promote a focus on wellbeing flourishment in our community.