May 09, 2012
Opening of St Joseph’s Catholic Flexible Learning Centre, Alice Springs
On Monday April 16 at 4.30pm St Joseph’s Catholic Flexible Learning Centre was officially opened in Alice Springs by Most Rev. Eugene Hurley DD, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Darwin, and Br Paul Oakley cfc, President, Edmund Rice Education Australia. The opening was most significant since it marks the presence of a registered school inspired by the charism of Edmund Rice in every state and territory of Australia.
The Flexible Learning Centre is a unique partnership between the Catholic Diocese of Darwin, Catholic Education NT, Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Youth+ and the Northern Territory Government. The FLC, a registered high school, will cater for young people who have experienced difficulty in mainstream educational environments by offering socially and culturally inclusive accredited educational pathways. There is a high teacher/young person ratio with youth worker support, as well as bridging and outreach programmes that support young people to re-engage with education. The FLC is focused on education of the whole person.
The FLC is located in the Alice Springs Youth Hub and has purpose-built facilities including teaching rooms,
multi-media space, music rooms, indoor basketball and hall spaces, as well as catering space. Currently there are 20 young people enrolled. The FLC aims to expand to offer 60 young people a place over the coming years.
The opening was attended by many influential people including the Honourable Warren Snowdon, Federal Member for Lingiari and Minister for Indigenous Health; Dr Chris Burns, NT Minister for Education and Training; Claire Gardiner-Barnes, Chief Executive, NT Department of Children and Families; the Honourable Rob Knight, NT Minister for Young Territorians; David Cummins, Executive Director, Central Australia Department of Education and Training; staff of the Catholic Education Office, Darwin, plus teachers, youth workers and other personnel from the newly opened Centre, and principals from local schools in Alice Springs. Dale Murray, Director of EREA Youth+ was Master of Ceremonies, with addresses made by Dr Wayne Tinsey, Executive Director, EREA; Mr Michael Avery, Director, Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Darwin; and the Honourable Karl Hampton MLA, Minister for Central Australia. All present were welcomed to the country by a local Indigenous Elder, a staff member of the FLC.
Most Rev. D. Eugene Hurley DD, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Darwin offered the following blessing to open the FLC:
We ask that you fill us with a wonderful sense of your presence as we gather here in Alice Springs to bless this exciting venture. Give us your ears to listen to the needs of those we are called to serve… let us listen with the ears of the heart to the muffled cry of those who need to be heard. Give us your eyes to see into the heart of those around us so that we might see you there. Give us courage to launch out into the deep, not knowing what lies ahead, but certain that you have taken us by the hand and it is you who lead us into the unknown. Bless our venture Lord and bless all associated with St Joseph’s Catholic Flexible Learning Centre. Fill us with joy and excitement Lord as we open a new chapter in our history. We ask all of this through Jesus Christ, who was apprenticed to St. Joseph.