As the academic year draws to a close it is clear that at the heart of every moment throughout the year has been my unshakable knowledge that it is an extraordinary gift to be part of this community. These last few weeks, I have witnessed the culmination of 12 months’ hard work in end of year events, performances, exhibitions, openings and graduations. All these events are integral to our aspiration to be an exceptional community of learning and wellbeing by celebrating both collective and individual achievements and growth. Our young people have grown this year, developing in the classroom, on the sports field and on the stage, and we are immensely proud of them in their pursuit to become the very best they can be.

In reflecting on the year gone by, we are reminded of the strength of our community and the shared values that bind us together. This year, we have witnessed the resilience of our students, the dedication of our staff and the unyielding support of our parents. Together, we have faced challenges with grace and perseverance, emerging stronger and more united.

At the heart of our value system is the holistic development of each student. With your active support of our school, you have played a crucial role in creating an environment where our students can flourish academically, physically, socially and emotionally.

As we look forward to 2024, let us carry the lessons of the past with us and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. With your continued support, we are confident that Woodville High School will continue to be a vibrant learning community, aspiring for excellence while nurturing an environment of pastoral care that builds resilience, tolerance and respect for all.

Our dedicated staff play a pivotal role in this partnership. Each staff member works tirelessly to cultivate an exceptional community of learning which enables students to flourish. To all teachers – thank you for your unwavering determination, passion and commitment to our students.  I am extremely proud of all our staff who place our students at the front of all their decisions. We are privileged to be a part of a community of such high calibre, extremely capable and committed staff.  I want to thank all the staff for continuing to make Our Woodville such an exceptional place. We thank you, our parents and caregivers for your continued trust and support and the welcome dialogue about your child’s academic growth and wellbeing.

Official Openings of Our Buildings

On Wednesday 13 December the Honourable Blair Boyer MP Minister for Education opened our new and upgraded buildings.

 The Frank Schirripa Food Technology and Horticulture Centre successfully expanded upon and integrated with the existing school spaces providing the opportunity to meet the growing spatial and educational needs of Woodville High School. All the new and upgraded buildings, Frank Schirripa Food Technology and Horticulture Centre, the Brian Marsland HPE Building and the Anastassiadis Art Studio embrace a modern innovative teaching philosophy which is student centred.

The $10m build is a result of the Capital Works Redevelopment funding announced in October 2017. Our commitment was to providing synergy between pedagogy, technology and space to promote quality learning and teaching. There were three key relationships in the school design process, the school community, architect and educational pedagogy leading to a more effective school architecture.

In designing these contemporary learning spaces it was important for us that architectural elements such as building design, connectivity, lighting, circulation of air, furniture and landscaping worked in harmony with the pedagogical elements such as curriculum, collaboration, technology and student agency. Students in these fluid and flexible spaces are now empowered to make decisions about what they learn and how they learn.

The building design aligns with the strategic vision and values of the School, creating participatory decision-making processes, developing adaptive capacity, and engaging in knowledge-building. The complex and fluid shapes of all the new buildings combined with the integration of digital technology has provided learning, leadership and enterprise facilities and opportunities for our students. The environmental and biophilic design principles support a more productive and healthier environment for student wellbeing. The landscaping and gardens around these buildings, with indoor/outdoor learning spaces, allows students and staff to access expanded landscaped areas as part of their educational outcomes and wellbeing. 

I want to acknowledge Ms Meredith Edwards Principal 2004 – 2020 and all past Principals and Leaders for their deep commitment to our Woodville. Taking the vision and concept to creation involved a number of organisations and individuals:

  • Minuzzo Project Management
  • Design Inc
  • DfE Leaders and Project Managers
  • Department of Infrastructure and Transport
  • the Landscapers, Designers, project managers

I want to acknowledge the Government of the day, especially Mr John Gardner the Education Minister at the time, Capital Projects Manager Helen Matthews from the Department for Education, the Architect from Design Inc, Michael Willis and his team, and Department of Infrastructure and Transport Senior Project Manager, Aislinn Morris and her team, who worked side by side with us during the term of the project.

It involved many of our own staff, including our Curriculum Leaders, who provided advice on the specialised spaces, our IT Manager, Simon Newbury, as well as our Business Leader at that time Paul Attiwill and Facilities Manager Grant Hollinshead who all worked tirelessly to make sure that we had what our students deserved.

Minuzzo was the appointed contractor and they commenced on site construction on the 26 July 2020. I want to acknowledge the Senior Project Manager, Hubert Dybiec and Site Manager Nino Cremasco for their professionalism and support.

Practical completion was achieved 25 January 2022, 19 months to build this magnificent learning space. It was completed by the time our Year 7’s started with us in 2022. It was an amazing team effort.

Some statistics include:

  • 14 separate portions of work undertaken including 2 brand new buildings , 11 refurbishments/upgrades and a new carpark
  • Over 600m3 of concrete used on site for building slab, retaining walls, stairs and paving
  • Over 50 separate trades employed to undertake the works
  • At peak there was 60+ persons working on site per day
  • 90+ tonnes of structural steel installed

And this all happened during the height of Covid and state wide lockdowns in July, which made us all nervous as every day was important if these buildings were to be done on time. On the infamous state wide shutdown we had scheduled the concrete to be poured on that day!

There were also border closures and they reopened from 23 November so that created some delays of equipment and in some cases we had to choose other materials.

And while Minuzzo project team were building the Frank Schirripa Food Technology and Horticulture Centre and the Brian Marsland Health and Physical Education Centre, carpark, and the refurbishments of the Staffroom and The Anastassiadis Art Studio, the school funded the development of the Irabinna Centre for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Students whose numbers had grown to 105 students and set to increase in 2024.

It is with gratitude to all of the people and organisations who worked on producing this amazing state of the art, purpose built facilities for the benefit our students at Our Woodville.

I am proud of our buildings and I feel proud of this amazing learning opportunity for our students, and I feel privileged to having worked so closely with all of these people and organisations to make this concept a reality. We recognise as a community that it is not buildings that make a school, for they are mere shells without the activity, learning and laughter of young people. It is the actual people, their passage through the school as students, as parents, as staff, as Old Scholars and friends that remains a constant and shapes the special and unique multicultural community and family we have today.

I express my gratitude and sincere thanks to the Honourable Blair Boyer, my Education Director Paul Newman, old scholars and governing council and all staff across all areas of the school for their dedication, inspiration and sheer hard work. I thank the members of the School Executive and Leadership team for a year of extraordinary effort and outstanding work. 

In closing

On Friday we will farewell staff completing their end of year contracts as well as staff that will be taking leave, I sincerely thank each of them for their service and commitment to not only Woodville High School but also public education.

I thank each of our colleagues and wish them every success, knowing that they will always be a part of the fabric that makes up Our Woodville family. They all leave behind an incredible legacy in the school’s history. As a community, we offer them our most heartfelt thanks for their contribution to our community and wish them and their loved ones all the best for the next chapter of their lives.

Likewise, we welcome all those new staff into the Woodville family and sincerely hope their time with us is both rewarding both personally and professionally:

  • Cherie Morgan
  • Rhys Young

Finally, I wish you and your families all the blessings, joy and love during this festive season and I hope you have a memorable New Year.

I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2024 and extend a warm welcome to all new parents, students and families who will join this wonderful community. 

School will commence on:

  • Monday 29 January 2024 – Student Free Day
  • Tuesday 30 January 2024 – Year 7 And 12, International, Astra (Gifted And Talented) and New Enrolment Students
  • Wednesday 31 January 2024 – Whole School Returns