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St Brigid’s College Lesmurdie new principal inherits ‘awe-inspiring tradition’


Carmen Cox commenced her new role as Principal of St Brigid’s College Lesmurdie on 1 January 2019. Photo: Supplied.

By Matthew Lau

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB accentuated the fact that St Brigid’s College Lesmurdie has a rich history of stories with the power to inspire, as the school welcomed a new era under the headship of Carmen Cox.

The investiture of Mrs Cox was combined with the school’s opening 2019 Mass on 12 February in the grounds of Lesmurdie House, an occasion that also commenced the school’s 90th anniversary.

Some 1200 people attended the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Costelloe, joined by Fr Michael Separovich, Fr Michael McMahon, and Fr Simeon San.

During which, as Mrs Cox pledged her commitment before the Perth Archbishop, she asked the students and staff to also vow their obligation to the school.

Mercy Education Limited board of directors, the College Advisory Council members, the Sisters of Mercy, former St Brigid’s principals, Mrs Cox’s family, colleagues of her previous school, students, parents, and staff were present for the investiture.


Archbishop Costelloe bestows a blessing on those present for the investiture on 12 February in grounds of Lesmurdie House on campus, with the Mercy Heritage Cottage as the backdrop. Photo: Supplied.

The June 2018 announcement of Mrs Cox’s appointment to supersede outgoing Principal Amelia Toffoli anticipated the end of her five-year stretch as Principal of St Joseph’s School in Northam.

Mrs Cox, an active parishioner at Holy Family Church (Kalamunda Parish), believes her role is to face the challenges of innovation and the fast-moving pace of education in the 21st century.

“I will strive to always do so in the spirit of the traditional values espoused by the Sisters of Mercy and the College’s position to ‘Light the Way’,” she said.

“I believe that my role is to help the College adapt to the new paths associated with our growth journey. But I can’t do that on my own, as 1 Cor 12:14 tells us: ‘Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many’.

“My role is to work within our community. This is our community, we are the many and we will achieve this together,” Mrs Cox added.

Archbishop Costelloe opened his homily by paying homage to the integral role that the Sisters of Mercy played in the establishment and ongoing development of St Brigid’s.

“Keep on re-telling the story of your College … Christians, and in one sense Catholics in particular, are experts in storytelling,” he said.

“At Mass today, we have listened to a passage from the Gospel, as we do at every Mass. It tells us something of the story of Jesus, the person who is the centre of the College’s life.”


Archbishop Costelloe invests Carmen Cox as new school principal at a whole school Mass on Tuesday 12 February. Photo: Supplied.

Archbishop Costelloe explained that the stories of the Gospels possess the power to inspire as they had done for Sisters of Mercy Foundress Catherine McAuley, for the first sisters who came to WA, for the sisters who founded St Brigid’s College in 1888, and for the sisters who had the courage to buy the current property in 1929.

“And they continue to inspire so many of the sisters and so many of the men and women who have worked for the good of this College since then, and still do.

“All of you then are the inheritors of this amazing, awe-inspiring tradition,” he articulated.

“It begins with one person, Jesus Christ, whose mind and heart have been brought to life in the day-to-day lives of so many people. The difference these people, these disciples, and followers of Jesus have made to the world and to this country is incalculable.

“And because you stand in this tradition, and through your life here at the College can be immersed in this tradition, you have the power to make an extraordinary difference too,” Archbishop Costelloe encouraged.