Between its traditional home in the Geelong suburb of Grovedale, and the parish’s southern bounds at the coastal towns of Torquay and Anglesea, lies Armstrong Creek. This is the largest continuous growth area in Victoria. As the 22,000-lot sub-division has progressed, demand on existing primary schools – Nazareth Catholic Primary School in Grovedale, and St Therese Primary School in Torquay (both in existence for over 40 years), well and truly exceeded capacity.
To meet the needs of a booming population a brand-new primary school in the Northern end of Torquay was opened two years ago. Named Lisieux Catholic Primary, the school takes its name in honor of St Therese, the patron Saint of Torquay’s Catholic community who was born in the French town of Lisieux.
“When we established Lisieux, we wanted to foster a strong connection, bringing the two schools together, including sharing and celebrating St Therese Feast day. Right from the very beginning our people wanted to build an integrated community within this unique coastal region”, says Father Linh.
In the Warralily section of Armstrong Creek, destined to be home to around 65,000 people in years to come, work is well underway on another school to be named St Catherine’s of Siena Catholic Primary School, welcoming around 130 students for Term 1, 2020.
Managing the planning and construction of two new schools has had its challenges, but Father Linh believes the most important work is in developing a cohesive community across a broad and diverse area.
“We are dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for children and families of this coastal community to learn and to grow their faith. Although each of our schools and churches has a unique culture, our vision is that everyone feels part of the same Parish wherever they choose to live,” says Father Linh.
Pictured: Fr Linh, Nazareth Parish, Grovedale.