The Principal of St Mary’s College is a great believer in the power of everyone in the college community working together to achieve great things. He sees the TCEC Award for Exemplary Contribution to Catholic Education as a recognition not so much of himself, but of the efforts of all the staff and students at St Mary’s College.
“No one here is more important than anyone else. Everyone works together,” he said.
Tom was born in Geelong and attended the Brigidine primary school, Holy Spirit, and then Chanel College which was run by the Marist Fathers. Since then he has gained qualifications in Education Administration, History, Law and is currently completing his third Masters – this time in Education Systems Leadership.
He first he taught at Marist College North Shore and then at various Catholic and Anglican schools in Sydney. When he and his wife Pauline decided they’d like a move, it was a toss-up between the NSW Southern Highlands and Tasmania. Tasmania won the day when Tom was successful in his application for deputy principal of St Mary’s College, a position he began in 2005. When Principal Joanne Atkins left, he took over the reins as acting Principal and was appointed Principal in January 2006.
He loves teaching which he says is ‘the most dangerous job in the world,’ because whatever you do with the students has a life-long effect. Tom loves working with the talent and potential of St Mary’s staff and students especially using the Presentation philosophy of education which emphasises welcome and inclusion of all.
He has an interest in education law and is an active member of ANZELA (The Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association) and was involved in voluntary legal work in New South Wales. He has taught mainly legal studies and history. He relates that he became hooked on Tudor and Elizabethan history when teaching an extension history unit. A student’s research on the constitutional position of Elizabeth 1 began what is now a consuming passion.
Tom is an active member of St Joseph’s Parish where he is part of the reading and welcoming rosters. He is a loving husband, father and now a grandfather and a great lover of all things Tasmanian. Tom is well-deserving of the Award of Exemplary Contribution to Tasmanian Catholic Education.