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An important announcement

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

After a lot of thought and discussion, Chris McCulloch, our Business Manager for the last 19 years, has decided to retire.

Chris started at the College in 2005, the same year I started. Having worked together for almost 20 years, I am very conflicted about his retirement. On one hand, I will miss him. All his wisdom, support and loyalty. On the other hand, he is finishing his career on such a successful note. And so, a well-deserved break is in order.

Most of us do not fully appreciate or understand the work of a Business Manager. While the focus of any school should be the Learning and Teaching, the reality is a school will only be successful if there is sound business management. It would be difficult to sum up all of Chris’ successes in this one email, so I focus on some key achievements:

  • Working alongside the Antonine Sisters on the purchase of the St Joseph Campus site and the initial refurbishment works which saw the secondary campus move from Brunswick to Pascoe Vale.
  • The planning and submission for Grants to refurbish and build at Cedar Campus which to this day remains to be an excellent facility for primary students.
  • The Bus Program, starting off with a few buses, growing to 36-38 College owned buses picking up students door to door from as far as Michelham, South Morang and Hillside. Chris really has memorised the Melways!
  • The planning and management of St Joseph Stages 1&2 building works – you would all agree this has been a stand out improvement in the facilities of the College.
  • His budgeting strategies have allowed the College to build a $15 million plus project with no loans and no debt.
  • Working with the Antonine Sisters on the incorporation of Antonine College Ltd and establishing a Board. Chris served as Board Secretary until the end of last year.
  • Chris really understands the culture and background of our students and parents.
  • Of course, I have to mention the relationship he has with the Antonine Sisters especially in the early days with Sr Marie and Sr Daad, and now with Sr Mariette.

Click here to read a letter from Sr Nazha El Khoury, Superior General of the Antonine Sisters Order

Words from Sr Daad Azzi, former Principal:

It is sad news and a great loss to see Chris leaving Antonine College, after years of great dedication, commitment, outstanding service, loyalty, love, patience and wisdom. But it is time for him to have a break after the beautiful growth and development of Antonine College facilities – a credit to him. Everything turns out well for those who love God. May God always provide blessings to Chris and Catherine and their family.

Words from Robert Smith, our architect:

Looking back over the photos it’s very clear how dedicated and passionate Chris is to his work. Always present, always well dressed, never afraid to get his hands dirty to help resolve the most complicated and minute of details. His encyclopaedic knowledge of in-ground services has been invaluable, and for someone trained as an accountant his knowledge of building services is incredible. At all stages throughout design and construction Chris has always pushed for the highest quality and rigor possible, within the confines of sensible practicality.

Daily interactions with Chris will be missed.

Click here to view a clip we put together summarising some of Chris’s achievements over the years

On behalf of all the College, I say thank you to Chris for his service to Antonine College, the Antonine Sisters and to the wider community. We wish Chris, and his wife Catherine, all the best as he retires, and we hope that they enjoy this next chapter in their lives.

- Ms Joanne Bacash

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