Principal announced for St Ann's School

EXPERIENCED educational leader Sonny Smith has been named as Foundation Principal of the new St Ann’s School at Redbank Plains, which will open at the start of 2020.​​

Currently being built on a 3.2-hectare site on Halletts Road, adjacent to the Cashmere Road Reserve, St Ann’s School will open with Prep to Year 3 in 2020, and then grow by a year level at a time until it reaches Year 6.

When it reaches full size, it is anticipated that it will be a four-stream school catering for 780 students and employing around 50 teachers and support staff.

Sonny, who is currently P​rincipal at Immaculate Heart School, Leichhardt, said he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I am excited and humbled to have been given this exciting opportunity to bring an affordable Catholic education to the community of Redbank Plains and surrounding areas,” he said.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the St Ann's Community Consultative Committee and staff from Brisbane Catholic Education.”

The incoming principal said parents can expect a school of vibrant and challenging learning environments, designed to shape young people and respond dynamically to a world in constant change.
                                                                                                                                                         © Brisbane Catholic Education, St Ann's School (2023)

“Our Vision will be focussed on building a contemporary educational environment in a welcoming and warm community which values diversity and sets high expectations.

“Our Mission will be based on Pope Francis' hopes that a Catholic Education is acc​essible and available to people everywhere. 

“We will also aim to build an educational relationship with each student, who must feel welcomed and loved for what he or she is, with all of their limitations and potential.

“Educationally, we are hoping to combine all that is great about BCE system directives and the strengths of each of our BCE's Ipswich schools to the community of St Ann's.”

Sonny said in the coming months, he will carefully select staff who will inspire, support and challenge every student to follow the teaching of Christ to reach their potential across all areas of learning, with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy.

There will also be an OSHC on site as well as Kindy run by Catholic Early Ed Care.

St Ann’s is not the first Catholic school at Redbank Plains; a small school, staffed by lay teachers and then the Sisters of St Joseph, originally operated in Redbank Plains in the 1860s and 1870s.

The new school will be part of the St Francis Xavier Parish, based at Goodna.

In naming the new school after St Ann, the committee has dedicated it to the memory of St Ann, the mother of the Virgin Mary – which makes her the grandmother of Jesus!

St Ann is also the patron saint of miners, which also reflects the important role that coal mining played in the development of the Redbank region.

Brisbane Catholic Education Executive Director, Pam Betts, said the new school was necessary to meet the growing population in the region, with the number of school-age children expected to increase rapidly in the years ahead.

“Ipswich City Council’s latest development report shows that Redbank Plains is now the fastest-growing suburb of Ipswich, and this momentum is expected to continue as new suburban developments are rolled out all the way to the Ripley Valley,” Miss Betts said.

“Brisbane Catholic Education is committed to ensuring that high quality and affordable Christian schooling is available to young families throughout the region, with other new schools planned for Springfield, Ripley, Greenbank and Flagstone over the next decade.

“We look forward to working with members of the local parish, community representatives and families to create a caring and inclusive new school at St Ann’s, which will welcome all those who share our values,” she said.

While construction takes place at the 3.2-hectare site on Halletts Road, Mr Smith and the enrolment team will be based in the school’s enrolment office at Town Square Redbank Plains.