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In the male-dominated atmosphere of an all-boys school, St Brendan’s College is working to ensure the student population recognises and respects the role of women in the workplace, in relationships and in everyday life and has marked International Women’s Day in a number of significant ways this week.
A Whole College Assembly highlighted the role of women in the development of Catholic education in Australia yesterday, and today the College stopped to allow every woman in leadership, teaching, administration and support roles to celebrate an International Women’s Day morning tea in the College Dining Hall.
For one woman in particular, the celebration of International Women’s Day is a timely one, as Mrs Cathy Minto, the College’s new Assistant Principal – Residential, makes her mark at the College as Queensland’s first, and one of Australia’s first female Heads of Boarding at a Catholic boys school.
With almost ten years’ experience in boarding as a House Parent and Head of Residence at St Brendan’s College, Mrs Minto believes she is well-placed to take on the role.
“I have worked in boarding for just under ten years as both a House Parent and Head of Residence, and have supported hundreds of boys as they developed from children to young men,” Mrs Minto said.
“My husband and I were Heads of Residence in Edmund Rice Residence for the introduction of Year 7 to secondary school; and this transition was a significant one, managing the additional resources and support required to take on students who were 12 months younger in a boarding situation,” she said.
“The influence and the rewards in boarding are immeasurable; when you see these boys arrive as children with their parents and support and guide them in the development of their independence, knowledge and character as young men, it is a very rewarding role.”
As a female member of the College Leadership Team and as the leader of a boarding staff of more than 20 Mrs Minto believes she brings an important point of view to the management of the College and for the students.
“I think it’s important for our students to recognise and respect that it is not just males who can hold roles of authority.
“It’s important for their growth and development to understand that women can take on roles of authority and leadership, and can accept and respect that authority as they move through their life,” she said.
“I also think a woman’s perspective is very important to add to the joint management team when you’re looking after the care and welfare of young men.”
“As a past boarding parent myself, I think it’s important to understand what a Mum feels and I can draw on that when working in the leadership team and in the boarding situation to support our families as they entrust the care of their precious children to us.”
Principal at St Brendan’s College, Mr Robert Corboy, paid tribute to more than 100 female staff at St Brendan’s College during the International Women’s Day celebrations at the College for their important roles within the St Brendan’s College community.
“In addition to Cathy Minto who has taken on the role of Assistant Principal – Residential in 2018, we are proud to have a number of women as Heads of Department, Heads of Year and in teaching, administration and support roles throughout the College,” Mr Corboy said.
“It’s important to recognise that women bring a unique perspective and we value their contribution to our College community and SBC family.”