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Seasoned Leadership – By Principal Kerry Maher, Mt Maria College Petrie, QLD

There’s no greater reward than witnessing the transformative moment when Year 12 students walk across the stage at graduation.  

That’s how the new Principal of Mt Maria College Petrie, Kerry Maher describes her favourite part of leading a school.    

“It’s knowing the decisions and leadership I have provided has made a difference in my student’s futures,” Kerry says.   

Drawing upon more than three-and-a-half decades of diverse experience within Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools and offices, Kerry served as Acting Principal from January 2023 before being appointed as the permanent Principal and will officially lead the College in 2024.  

Following a successful three-year tenure as an education officer at the BCE head office, where she collaborated with Griffith University to strengthen leadership teams in Catholic secondary schools, Kerry is now enthusiastic to guide her new school community forward.   

 “I am deeply invested in ensuring that every student is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential,” Kerry says.  

“Curriculum offerings that challenge and encourage student curiosity and critical thinking skills also help to create growth mindsets. 

“It’s important that students are empowered to take charge of their own educational journey. 

“I believe a strong connection between students, parents, and teachers is the cornerstone for a successful educational journey,” she added.   

Kerry says student academic outcomes are strongly linked to student wellbeing and parent engagement.  

“When students feel supported emotionally, they are better equipped to engage, learn and thrive academically.”   

Kerry explains her College is a member of Marist School’s Australia, a Catholic tradition founded by The Marist Brothers.  

“As Marist educators, we strive to create learning communities that grow the engagement, progress and achievement of every student,” she says. 

“An important aspect of our College is our Marist Charism, which is the basis of all we do.  

“As a school leader in the Marist Tradition, I strive to promote and develop positive student engagement in the religious life at our College and within the wider community through a sense of Family spirit, Love of Work, Presence, Simplicity and In the Way of Mary, the 5 characteristics of Marist Charism.”  

This can be achieved by strengthening community outreach, social justice activities, immersions, and connections to the local Parish.  

“It’s important that students know they can make a difference in the lives of others and feel a sense of pride and fulfilment in doing so,” she added. 

By Kerry Maher, Principal at Mt Maria College Petrie ,QLD.


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