Catholic Education is celebrating 200 years in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first Catholic school established in Parramatta in October 1820.

First Catholic school

The first Catholic school in Australia was founded in October 1820 by Irish Catholic priest Fr John Therry and run by convict and lay person George Marley. The school, which Catholic historians believe was in Hunter Street, Parramatta, taught 31 students. By 1833, there were 10 Catholic schools in the colony.


Celebrating the legacy

Over 200 years, Catholic schools have grown to become the largest provider of schooling in Australia (outside government) with one in five school age students attending a Catholic school.

This represents some 768,000 students in 1,751 schools across the country and employing 98,000 teachers and staff.

Nearly 40 per cent of Catholic schools are located outside of metropolitan cities in regional, rural and remote communities.

The formal celebrations were due to be held from October 2020 to October 2021. However, due to pandemic restrictions, the celebrations will now be held during the 2021 school year.

The official launch of the celebrations was held last week.

A National Mass will also be celebrated in every state, territory and diocese on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians on 24 May 2021.

Source: https://200years.catholic.edu.au/?_sm_au_=iFM41rN3j7ZwwZWJN28f8KHTCCsq4



Dear Parents, Carer’s and Friends of Bethany,

As we build upon the 200 year traditions of Catholic Schools in Australia and visit this theme throughout the year, it was a privilege to welcome so many prospective new students to Bethany at our Open Day last Tuesday. This group of girls who will be the Bethany graduating class of 2028 will contribute further to the history of Catholic education.

Thank you to the many families who visited our College last Tuesday. It was delightful to see our school slowly returning to a new COVID normal and to see parents of younger siblings come along. I was particularly proud of the hundreds of students who volunteered to stay behind and help with our Open Day. This is evidence of the pride that our girls have in their school. As always, the most consistent feedback about our Open Day was about the confidence of our current students and their level of satisfaction at Bethany. This year between Mrs Matthews and myself, we visited all 11 of our feeder Primary schools who are quite eager to begin their high school journey and taste the delights of a “big” school. We are currently enrolling Year 5 students for Year 7, 2023. Applications for enrolment are due March 30, 2021. Please do not miss out on submitting applications by this date.




At our Assembly last week, we invited Mr Chris Nolan who is a former teacher of the College and who now works with Caritas Australia to speak to us about the vital work that Caritas does around the world and the difference which our contributions through Project Compassion make to those in need. Some of the projects which have helped people around the world include fresh water to communities, bathrooms with running water in communities, education especially for young girls and medical care. We were reminded of what we take for granted in our community and how a small gift of generosity from each of us can have a huge impact on the lives of so many. Please encourage your daughter to make some sacrifices during lent to broaden her thoughts in thinking of others.

Our Year 12 leaders after missing out on their planning for our swimming carnival will host a mufti day for the whole school on Monday March 15. This is an initiative where they will release the theme and all students are asked to pay $2 for the privilege of dressing up, with all funds going to Project Compassion. Students who do not pay will be expected to be in their usual College uniform. This is a spirit building day after missing out on so many similar type activities in the past year.


Have you visited our new College Website?



Parent Dates for your Calendar

Monday March 15 at 6pm – Year 7 and 8 Maths Pathways Parent Meeting

Wednesday March 17 at 6pm – Parent information evening for all Year 7 Newman students as well as students new to Newman in 2021 across Years 8 – 10.

Tuesday March 23 between 3.30 and 7.30pm – Parent Teacher Interviews for Year 7 parents. These will be held via Zoom and booking information will be sent home shortly. Students in Year 7 will be taught how to use Zoom prior to this date.

Wednesday March 24 from 8.45am – High Achievers Assembly where students with an ATAR of over 90 will return to the College.


If any parent needs to revisit communication from the College in the form of permission notes, please use Compass to do this. Across the top bar, there is a symbol of 2 people to click on and then under this go to School Documentation and then your daughter’s year group. There is also a category for whole of school documentation.

Blessings for the weekend ahead.


Robyn Rodwell

College Principal