After 44 years in education, 41 of them in Catholic Education, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Director of Schools Ray Collins will retire at the end of the 2016 school year. Mr Collins will have served 19 years in the diocese in various roles including nine as the Director of Schools. He began his teaching career at Bourke Public School and worked in Catholic Education in the Diocese of Bathurst for 22 years.
Bishop Bill Wright says having been aware of Ray's intention to retire in the coming years, he accepted Ray's resignation earlier this month:
"I have great respect for Ray and his many achievements as our Director of Schools for the last nine years, most recently his role in the Study into the Provision of Catholic Secondary Schools in the Diocese, along with the opening of St Aloysius Catholic Primary, Chisholm.
Throughout his career, Ray has promoted a strong relationship between our schools, parishes and wider Diocese. This is something I know Ray has been committed to, and a legacy I am hopeful will be carried on.
With a long history in education such as Ray's, I can't begin to imagine what some of his highlights may be – though I am sure he is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to create new memories with his family in the years to come. On behalf of the Diocese, I pass on my thanks to Ray for all he has achieved in his role of Director over the last nine years." Bishop Bill said.
Reflecting on his career, outgoing Director of Schools Ray Collins says one of the privileges of his time in the role is the opportunity to work with so many dedicated and talented teachers, principals and support staff:
"I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the Catholic Church in my various positions over time and greatly appreciate the confidence various Bishops, Parish Priests, Principals and staff have had in me to enable me to undertake this service to schools.
I will walk away from this role proud of the work of our Catholic schools in providing a faith based education to the young people in their care. I want to express my deep appreciation of the support from all the clergy, Diocesan school teaching and support staff, CSO staff and our valued parents and students across each of the Diocese's 56 schools.
I also wish to express my thanks to Bishop Bill and his predecessor Bishop Michael Malone and to the late Bishop Pat Dougherty of the Bathurst Diocese for the opportunities they have given me. The support of the CSO Leadership Team and the Diocesan Executive has been crucial in my work as Director of Schools.
There are still many things to be accomplished before I finish my term as Director of Schools and I look forward to a productive and satisfying 2016 school year." Mr Collins said.
Bishop Bill Wright will shortly be commencing a recruitment process to appoint a new Director of Schools to commence at the start of the 2017 school year.