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For the Whole of Their Life.

Meet Our New Principal and Deputy Principal

Posted 28th July 2021
By Ellie Rolfe

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to announce that Mr Matthew Connett will be appointed as the Principal of our Cessnock school, commencing effective Monday 26 July, 2021. Matthew will become the third Principal of St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock and I am confident that he will build on the legacy of those who have gone before him and lead this community into the next exciting chapter of its history.

Following a rigorous process of prayerfully assessing and interviewing strong applicants both internal and external (including international) to the St Philip’s organisation, it became clear that Matthew has the vision, character and ability to lead Cessnock. I also would like to express my sincere gratitude to Les Holland, Virginia McMurray, Samantha Van De Mortel and Martin Telfer who joined me to form the selection committee.

Matthew is married to Lindy and together they have three adult children. He is an experienced Christian teacher with 21 years’ experience within St Philip’s Christian College. Matthew is a HSIE and English Teacher, and has also held numerous leadership roles at SPCC Waratah. Matthew has been a part of the SPCC Cessnock family since the start of 2020 when he was appointed to the role of Deputy Principal. Since the start of this year he has been faithfully fulfilling the role of Acting Principal.

Matthew has a demonstrated ability to lead, promote and demonstrate the values of Christian Education. His passion is to see every child reach their God-given potential. He has a proven ability to engage students through innovative and inclusive education pathways and is committed to developing educational leaders that inspire students and change communities.

SPCC Cessnock is known for the positive impact it has had on the Community of Cessnock and Matthew is committed to continuing to build upon this through a leadership model that empowers staff, students and the school community to communicate openly and honestly. Matthew would like to see SPCC Cessnock continue to strengthen their connection with the local community through further supporting businesses, volunteering in the community and building into the cultural life of Cessnock.

With Matthew stepping into this new role, the role of Deputy Principal has been vacated. Margaret Pond has been serving in this role this year whilst maintaining her position as Head of Junior School. I am delighted to announce that Margaret will be continuing in the Deputy Principal position on a permanent basis. Margaret is an experienced educator and leader and is a valued member of the College Executive Leadership Team.

Margaret has been an integral part of the culture, ongoing growth and development of the Cessnock Campus. Her passion for education, and the community of the local area are unsurpassed. We are confident that she will continue to be a great support to the SPCC Cessnock community and to Matthew in his role of Principal. Recruitment for a new Head of Junior School will commence as soon as practicable.

Please join me in congratulating Matthew and Margaret on their appointments.

Every blessing,

Graeme Irwin AM

Executive Principal

The Life

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