Luke Maher humbled by Archbishop’s Award at Schools Recognition ceremony

Recipients at the Catholic Schools’ Recognition Mass and Awards. Photo: Emily Carter, Catholic Education.

The Religious Education Coordinator at St Vincent’s Primary School, Aranda, Luke Maher, was awarded the prestigious Archbishop’s Award at the 2019 Catholic Schools Recognition Mass and Awards at St Christopher’s Cathedral on August 30.

Luke, who among his many involvements in the Archdiocese travelled to Panama for World Youth Day and to Europe for LNE (Leading the New Evangelisation) said he was humbled by the recognition.

“It’s a very humbling honour,” he said.

“The Archbishop mentioned in his homily that teaching is about nourishing… and this also feels extremely nourishing.

“To be able to share this with the people I work with, all of the people I work with, the people that we do God’s work with and for, the students, the fantastic staff at our school, the wider Catholic community, our wonderful youth ministers… I really do feel very blessed, and very nourished in the work that I’ve been able to do this year, particularly around the new evangelisation and the trips overseas.

“There have been many wonderful experiences, and to be able to receive this, and feel very humbled by it, I feel it’s a recognition for all the people I work with and that we do the work for, so I receive it for them as well.”

Archbishop Prowse and Luke Maher at Catholic School Awards from CGCatholic Multimedia on Vimeo.

The Mass and Awards were attended by the principals of the 56 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese, members of Catholic Education, Canberra and Goulburn and members of the ACT Legislative Assembly along with students, parishioners and members of the Chancery.

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In his Homily, Archbishop Christopher Prowse spoke about the meaning of the latin term alma mater, literally “nourishing mother,” and made the link to the nourishment in knowledge and faith provide by all teachers including principals and the clergy.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Christopher Prowse and concelebrated by Episcopal Vicar for Education Monsignor John Woods, Father Trenton Van Reesch, Father Paul Nulley and Father Stephen Astill SJ.

Miah Moggridge, a Year 6 student from Good Shepherd Primary School at Amaroo, gave the Welcome to Country and Director of Catholic Education Ross Fox gave the welcoming speech.

Music for the Mass was led by St Clare’s College Chorale with Musical Director Rachel Campbell and Accompanists Kylie Bayada and Rachael Campbell.

St Mary MacKillop College Canberra Choir knows just how to give their audience goosebumps with this beautiful Eli Jenkins’ Prayer as an SATB acapella arrangement led by the talented Kim Maloney.


The Award winners were:

Affinity Award:  This project was part of the CSIRO Blue CREST award.  The award is a non-competitive activity which encourages student success through the development of skills and processes.  It allows students to choose, organise and undertake their own open-ended science project.

  • Winner: Clare Rosin, Year 7, St Clare’s College, Griffith

Boundless Award: A new initiative to explore Faith through art. 

  • Adult Winner: Ms Kathryn MacDonald, Teacher Librarian, St John the Apostle Primary School, Florey
  • Student Winner: Ellie Anlezark, Year 6, Mother Teresa School, Harrison

Film Fest Award: Focused on the theme of ‘Engaging Faith, Minds and Community’.

  • Winner: SCA News, Special Edition (Tristan Santiago, Kyle Orchard, Mikah Ramirez, Maddison Warren, Gabrielle Ticehurst, Tanishqa Robinson)
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Wangirrali Award: The Wangirrali (Listen) competition explored Reconciliation through literacy, based on the 2019 Reconciliation Week theme, ‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage’.  The competition aimed to support current literacy learning taking place in our classrooms such as poetry, creative, expository, persuasive writing etc.

  • Winner: Aliza Vagg, Year 6, St Bernard’s Primary School, Batehaven

Mission: Awarded for those who have lived the Mission of Catholic Education.

  • ACT Winner: George Nulley, Classroom Teacher, St Mary MacKillop College, Tuggeranong
  • NSW Winners: The K-12 Pathway Schools on the Coast Yuin Banaan Organisation Committee
    • St Bernard’s Primary School, Batehaven
      • Rebecca Brady, Aboriginal Contact Teacher
      • Patricia Ellis, Aboriginal Education Leader
      • Karen Hadley, Aboriginal Contact Teacher and Assistant Principal
    • Carroll College, Broulee
      • Catherine Davis, Aboriginal Education Assistant
      • Michelle Katuke, Aboriginal Contact Teacher (Michelle’s award to be accepted by her principal, Jacqui Heffernan)
    • St Mary’s Primary School, Moruya
      • Margaret Croese, Aboriginal Contact Teacher and Assistant Principal (Margaret’s award to be accepted by her principal, Noeleen O’Neill)

Performance: Awarded for student engagement, learning progress and teaching performance.

  • ACT Winner: Anna Williams, Coordinator, Mother Teresa School, Harrison
  • NSW Winner: Antoinette Woods, RE Coordinator, Lumen Christi Catholic College

Service: Awarded for pastoral care, wellbeing and growth of students and or staff, parent engagement and satisfaction, social justice and outreach.

  • ACT Winner: Laura Frogley, Classroom Teacher, St Michael’s Primary School, Kaleen
  • NSW Winner: Jane King, Clerical Officer, St Gregory’s Primary School, Queanbeyan

Director’s Award: In recognition of special service to Catholic Education by staff or community member or group

  • Winner: Trazel Scott
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Archbishop’s AwardIn recognition of emerging leadership in Religious Education

  • Winner: Luke Maher

Trazel Scott, winner of the Director’s Award, pictured with Archbishop Christopher (left) and Ross Fox (right). Photo: Emily Carter.


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