On 5 October our Animal Care class visited the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre in Toolern
Vale, which rescues dingos and lets wild dingos live out their lives happily and in good health. They promote research and conservation of this important native animal and apex predator. They also breed pure bred dingo puppies that go to wildlife sanctuaries and zoos.
It was a muddy, windy and wet day, but that was not going to stop us. We were ecstatic to meet the dingos and their pups, and learn more about these native animals. There were five pups aged 9 to 11 weeks, that were running around and playing happily with each student, and each other. They were incredibly well behaved and very well trained. They didn’t bite and did exactly what they were told. As a class, we all were overjoyed by how awesome our visit was and how even the bad weather couldn’t dull the day. Mrs Payne is hoping that our class can sponsor a dingo next year and we can have regular visits to the sanctuary!
Darren was appointed Principal of Sacred Heart College in January 2019. Darren has had almost 30 years experience in teaching and leadership across a number of Victorian Catholic secondary schools. These include eight years as Principal of Mercy Regional College, Camperdown; nine years as Deputy Principal and Director of Mission at Mount Lilydale Mercy College; seven years as a Chemistry, Religious Education and Science teacher as well as REC at Sacred Heart College, Geelong.
Darren has been committed to a lifetime of study and professional development. After completing his initial degree of Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma of Education at the University of Melbourne, he continued his study by completing a Graduate Diploma of Religious Education, a Masters of Religious Education and a Doctor of Education, all at Australian Catholic University. In 2018, Darren participated in the Enhancing Catholic School Identity programme in Leuven, Belgium.
Darren has a deep and passionate affiliation with the Mercy tradition and charism and believes that Mercy schools must be “…committed to holistic education; determined to ensure that each student flourishes academically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically”.
The purpose of the Catholic school is to provide “… an authentic Christian education, where students are called to embrace the essence of the Gospels, to flourish as whole human persons” and “… to provide exemplary learning experiences for the students who attend”.