Why Join the EDUCATION Adventure (JtA)? EDUCATION IS LIBERATION: Education is the single most important adventure because education unlocks potential, creates life defining opportunities and, with education, the world becomes a better place. This is why JtA is so focused on the education space.

Principal Ann Rebgetz.

A highly regarded and celebrated Brisbane principal, whose teaching career spans more than three decades and whose dedication has impacted countless lives positively, has announced her retirement as a principal.

Leading St Columban’s College in Caboolture through enormous growth before moving over to St James College in inner-city Brisbane to almost double the number of students enrolled in under five years, Principal Ann Rebgetz will step down at the end of the year.

Under her leadership, both colleges achieved acclaim by clinching prestigious Australian Training Awards, a testament to the remarkable improvements witnessed across all facets of the schools after going through the process.

Yet, Principal Rebgetz’s influence extends far beyond state boundaries, resonating on a global scale, underscoring the profound impact of her educational stewardship.

Talking exclusively with JtA NEWS, Principal Rebgetz discussed her career and empathised education is a pathway to liberation.

“It’s that depth of understanding and education that will bring liberation that brings the quality of living to all,” Principal Rebgetz explained in the podcast interview.

Crediting her success to taking measured risks and to the dedicated staff fostering a high-performance culture, Principal Rebgetz highlighted the significance of nurturing such a culture within the school community.

“As many company directors say, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ so you can have the strategy,” Principal Rebgetz outlined. “But if you don’t have the culture existing in the school in terms of your staff, in terms of your students, and in terms of your community, your parents and all the other people in your partnerships in the community, and that’s what I think is so important to nurture.

“When I became the principal at St James, it had a very strong culture of promotion, of inclusion and acceptance.

“I was just to be able to take it and expand it with increasing the resourcing, taking in more students, being able to expand the actual campus by acquiring further buildings.

“All of those things have made such a big difference, but the culture is inherent to any organisation, so you can have it looking pretty on paper in everything else and tick the boxes, but if the culture isn’t there to make it happen, (if) it doesn’t have the heart to make it happen, it won’t happen.”

In response to Principal Rebgetz announcing her retirement, Edmund Rice Education Australia Colleges LTD released a statement.

“Ann’s contribution to Catholic Education has spanned an extraordinary 30 years, holding leadership roles in both the Northern Territory (NT) and Queensland (Qld),” the statement said. “In Ann’s earlier years of teaching Mathematics, English, History, she taught in various locations, including Darwin, Bathurst Island, Jabiru, Innisfail, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

“It was in 1991 that Ann commenced at Aquinas College, followed by Marymount College in 1993, taking up Vocational Careers Leader (1997-2000) and Assistant Principal of the College (2000-2004).

“Ann was appointed as Deputy Principal at St Peter Claver College, Riverview (2005) and then relocated to the NT as Co-Principal of Thamarrurr Catholic College (2006-2008).

“Prior to Ann’s commencement at St James College in 2019, Ann held the role as Principal at St Columban’s College in Caboolture (2009-2018).”

The statement went onto outline the impact Principal Rebgetz has had on St James College.

“Since Ann commenced at St James College in 2019, enrolment figures have almost doubled and in 2023 the College began entry of Year 5 and 6.

“Ann has led the College in acquiring a major building and renovation of facilities, including the new Arts Centre, Health Hub and Hairdressing Salon.

“The College is also considered a School of Innovation as evidenced by National Australian Training Awards in Vocational Pathways for students.

“Ann continues to advocate for the role of Principals and Schools across Queensland and Australia,” the statement concluded.

There will be a celebration event in Principal Rebgetz’s honour later this year.

The Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development, and Minister for Youth Justice presents award to St James College, Brisbane.


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