Strength in Community
Meet Brendan Welsford (pictured), the Principal of Christ Our Holy Redeemer in Oakleigh East. Brendan proudly represents a primary school that has a strong history of outstanding community and deep connection.
Whilst Brendan has been the Principal at Christ Our Holy Redeemer for four years, his personal history and love for the school goes back much further. Brendan himself was once a much-loved pupil at the primary school which he attended for the duration of his junior years.
Having a long and rich history with the school has provided Brendan with the knowledge of the importance of sustaining connection and growing community within his beloved ‘old’ primary school.
Within this thriving and active school there was an urgent need for expanding the space to cater for more students. Every classroom was being utilised to full capacity including the library that needed to be turned into a classroom because of classroom shortages. The constraints on space and classrooms being stretched meant the space could not meet the demands of a growing school.
CDF was able to step in and assist with a loan to refurnish the school giving the 254 students 9 new learning spaces. This included breakout areas, multi–purpose spaces, a performing arts room and a brand new “sensational library” as described by Brendan. In addition to this the children have gained a purpose–built Italian room, whilst the teachers have gained a professional teaching and meeting space that acts as a second staff room.
This refurbishment has been described as a “purposeful place” with the highlight being the multi–purpose area that can be transformed into a pop-up play area for Lego groups, faith development classes and social justice activities.
The new refurbishment and upgrade of Christ Our Holy Redeemer has not only created more space, but it is also Brendan’s hope is that it will continue to strengthen and connect the school’s community in new ways. He says, ‘This building project will serve the school by continuing to connect students, parents and friends fostering a stronger community through friendships and relationships.”
Brendan’s emotional connection with the school has allowed him to bridge the old and new. During the refurbishment an antique desk was found and promptly restored so it could be showcased as historic memento, giving a nod to the past while being housed in the new hope for the school’s future.
For Brendan it is an honour to be back at his old primary school in service as the Principal. Over the past four years he is thankful he’s been able to sustain a strong sense of community and a huge amount of parent involvement. He’s proud of the project that has come to fruition, offering many new opportunities for students and the broader community.
Christ our Holy Redeemer is grateful to CDF for the loan and the support of Relationship Manager, Aaron Gupta, throughout the process. Brendan says, “CDF has always been willing to step into supporting school projects. They are not just another business partner, but instead are an extension of our community.”
Pictured: Christ Our Holy Redeemer, Oakleigh East