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Waranara School joins MacKillop Family Services

MacKillop Family Services currently operates three schools in Victoria under MacKillop Education, and will bring this expertise in supporting the work of Waranara School in New South Wales.

MacKillop will work collaboratively to ensure the school continues to provide quality and specialist education to students who have disengaged from mainstream schooling. Good Shepherd will continue to provide wraparound support services for students and families.

The Waranara school is a specialist assistance school established by Good Shepherd in 2015 to assist young people who were having difficulty staying engaged in education. It offers a specialist environment for up to sixty secondary students in Years 9-12.

To prepare for the increasing future demand of this kind of education the decision has been made by Good Shepherd to transfer the governance and management of the school to MacKillop Family Services whose MacKillop Education schools support children and young people who are disengaged, or at risk of disengaging, from education. The transition to MacKillop will allow the school to grow and serve more students.

This change will also allow Good Shepherd staff in NSW to focus on growing its core services across New South Wales and explore opportunities to partner with MacKillop on new service programs.

Good Shepherd CEO Stella Avramopoulos said the partnership would be beneficial for current students and staff and the broader community.

“Good Shepherd and MacKillop are like-minded organisations with hundreds of years of experience in providing community service,” Ms. Avramopoulos said.

“With the success and the subsequent growing demand on Waranara school the transition to MacKillop Family Services management will give more students and families future opportunities to access this unique environment. This allows Good Shepherd staff in New South Wales to focus on growing the support and services we specialise in.”

The arrangement will not affect staffing, with principal Rachael Peet and her team continuing in their current roles. All current student enrolments will be retained and MacKillop Education Waranara will remain an option to all students in the area who struggle in a mainstream school environment.

Rachael said she is committed to continuing the high-quality support her team have provided to children and families in the region.

“While our name may change, our focus on supporting children and families will not. Our teachers and curriculum will remain, and our commitment to supporting children who struggle to learn in mainstream schools and their families is stronger than ever. We know education creates opportunities, and we’re excited about working with MacKillop to offer these opportunities to more children and their families at Waranara school,” she said.

MacKillop Family Services CEO Dr Robyn Miller is excited to support the teachers and students at Waranara into the future.

“Over the past decade, MacKillop has supported hundreds of children and young people who are disengaged in mainstream settings with trauma-informed, tailored and therapeutic education. We are excited to extend this support to children and their families in Sydney,” Robyn said.

“MacKillop Education Waranara will complement the services we provide across New South Wales for children and young people in care, families requiring support, and young people at risk of homelessness.