St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Bundaberg teacher Pauline Merefield won the 2020 Spirit of Catholic Education state award.
She was selected from a record number of nominations with 215 received from across Queensland.
Pauline has been an active member of the school and Holy Rosary Parish communities for more than 30 years, volunteering to teach religion in state schools for 33 years and acting as chairperson of the local Catechist group for 25 years.
As a specialist science teacher at catholic schools in Bundaberg, Pauline has facilitated enrichment days for all year levels and organised regular intensive days for science investigation.
She has been Coordinator of OPTIMINDS teams to local, state and national titles for over 25 years.
Pauline has also championed the school’s environmental projects and established a corridor of endangered Woongarra Scrub that Year 4 and 5 students contribute to and maintain every year.
This project has been operating for 12 years.
Pauline said she was shocked to be named the recipient of the 2020 Spirit of Catholic Education Award.
“It came as quite a surprise and is very humbling, but this is a team effort as St Joseph’s school is very supportive enabling me to do the things I do, particularly around the environment,” Pauline said.
“Church and faith are a big part of my life and have certainly influenced the way I look at life and my ministry across both school and parish.
“Service and Mission are the foundations of this faith that I live by.”
Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton was also pleased to announce its Indigenous Education Team was one of two state recipients of this year’s Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award.
Just one of many highlights, the team has developed the Indigenous Education Growth and Development Tool which schools use to promote insightful and honest reflection about ways of working toward true reconciliation and deep respect.
Team members Brad Jarro, Indigenous Education Coordinator; Phillippa Johnson, Indigenous Education Support Officer and Shelley Major, Indigenous Career and Transition Pathways Officer were thrilled with the award.
“We were very humbled by this award … we love what we do, and we never forget where we come from and why we do what we do,” Phillippa said.
Rockhampton Diocesan Director of Catholic Education Leesa Jeffcoat congratulated all who were nominated for a 2020 Spirit of Catholic Education Award.
“I extend to them and to all who partner with them in the Ministry of Catholic Education, my heartfelt thanks for all they do nurture in the students entrusted to our care a love of God, a love of neighbour, a love of the natural environment and a love of learning that will last a lifetime,” Miss Jeffcoat said.