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Farewell Message from Principal Vince Bellini


Dear Our Lady of Mercy Community,

 

As I write this final Mercy Story, it is with mixed emotions and feelings. It reflects gratitude, thanksgiving, and the opportunities presented to me during the time I have been part of Our Lady of Mercy College.

 

Firstly, I wish to thank all the students who made me feel welcome from the very first day I arrived. I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the year. To the Year 12 students, thank you for sharing your stories on your retreat; I feel extremely lucky to have been with you all during those days. When I first arrived, I made a promise to myself to greet students every day. I was excited to see students returning the greetings as time progressed. Thank you for making me feel part of your school. Believe me when I say that you have made a huge impact on me, and you will always have a special place in my heart.

 

To the staff who have walked this journey with me, knowing that it was only meant to be one term, thank you for welcoming me. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to have conversations with me, and most importantly, for allowing me into your inner sanctum. I can truly say that I came here not knowing anyone, but I leave here with the knowledge that I have made some wonderful lifelong friends. To the Executive of the College—Mrs. Viv McKenzie, Mrs. Karyn Cronin, Mrs. Natasha Hart, Mrs. Maree Maughan, Mr. Jarrad Pisano, and Mr. Samuel Galati—thank you for assisting me in leading the College. Your guidance and advice were always welcomed. Our Lady of Mercy is in extremely good hands.

 

To the parents, especially those from the School Advisory Council and those who were part of the P&F, I thank you for lending me your ears and listening to me with a vision for school improvement. There is something special about being back in a country region after a 25-year hiatus; community is everything, and being part of the community is essential. To all parents who have reached out and wished me well, thank you.

 

To the principals of the feeder Catholic schools—Mr. Darrin Croft (St. Anne’s, Harvey), Mrs. Vanessa Dicker (St. Michael’s, Brunswick), Mrs. Marcia Collins (Our Lady of Lourdes, Dardanup), Mr. Rob La Roche (St. Brigid’s, Collie), and Mr. Daniel Graves (Leschenault Catholic Primary School, Australind)—thank you for your collegiality, support, and welcoming me to each of your communities. Visiting your schools has further strengthened our commitment to ensuring a partnership for Quality Catholic Education for all members of our communities and has strengthened the links with school, parish, and community.

 

Finally, to my family—my wife and daughters—for their love and support during this time: Without their continued support, I would not have been able to spend the time here in this region developing an understanding of the community I had the honour to serve.

 

Over the last 12 months, I have been fortunate enough to reflect upon the role a principal has in the school they have an opportunity to be part of. I was told that in the scheme of things, a principal is only part of a school for a short time, and while we are here, our role is to act as stewards to the community we are asked to serve. For me, I always knew I only had a short time at the College, and I took this opportunity to learn the “Mercy Way” and, most importantly, to understand the students within this community. I hope I was able to do this. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your school.

 

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the year and welcome back Mr. Rob Crothers into his role as Principal at Our Lady of Mercy College.

 

God bless,

 

Vince Bellini

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