I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself before we meet in person next year at the College.


From the 2020 Principal

Dear Mercedes College Student Community, Staff, Parents and Friends

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself before we meet in person next year at the College.

As the newly appointed Principal of Mercedes College, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to help shape the future of this highly regarded Catholic College with its proud history. I would also like to sincerely thank Peter Daw and his team for their efforts in setting Mercedes on a course for future success. That future is something we will build together.

I appreciate you will have many questions of myself and my plans for the future of our school. Those plans are still taking shape. Certainly, there are elements to my role that are absolutes. However, I believe the Principal of any College must, in addition to being an excellent and passionate educator, be an outstanding listener.

I know that as Principal of Mercedes, I play a key role in helping support families to make their lives happier and healthier as members of a vibrant Catholic community. That word ‘community’ is significant. Education is very much about connection. I look forward to regularly engaging and listening to our diverse and committed school community on matters moving forward.

Throughout my career, I have been committed to high quality and contemporary teaching and learning in which the ease of relationship between the teacher and the student is paramount. The best educators can know all corners of a curriculum and build excellent lesson structures; however, if we do not love what we do, then our achievements will be limited. 

I am passionate about leading a school through the development of a culture based on trust, cooperation and responsibility. I am equally passionate about building the capacity of those around me to create positive change for themselves, for others and for our systems. Catherine McAuley was correct when she uttered her immortal words, “We can never say ‘it is enough’”. In every measure, we understand education is a journey of perpetuity. I know that together we will continue to develop and consolidate Mercedes as a world class organisation recognised internationally for high calibre teaching and learning. 

To further support our school’s development, I believe there is value in using multiple forms of data on engagement, satisfaction and performance. I thank you in advance for contributing to surveys and taking the time to come and see me (whether over a coffee or in the schoolyard).

I believe the Mercedes experience should be inspiring and rewarding for our students, and those who support them. While we will look to continue the many excellent practices and processes that exist today at our College, we have an eye firmly on the future and will constantly challenge those that can be improved.

One of the many roles of an educational leader is to ensure our College is well-resourced, that parents receive outstanding value for money and that the appropriate procedures and structures are in place to enable staff and students to excel. I look forward to working in partnership with you all to foster an environment that provides a comprehensive and well-rounded education for our students, one that is steeped in Mercy spirituality to help lay the foundations for lifelong learning.

I wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas filled with excellent cheer and good health and look forward to meeting you all in Term 1.

Warm Regards

Andrew Balkwill
2020 Mercedes College Principal