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Kathleen McCarthy Bursary

Dear valued supporter of Sacré Cœur

My name is Brian McCarthy, a past parent of Sacré Cœur and husband of Kathleen who died on 26 July 2018 whilst we were holidaying in North Queensland.

Her Requiem Mass held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hawthorn was attended by a large number of alumnae of Sacré Cœur.

With the School Choir in full voice and a packed church it was for me a truly memorable occasion. It brought home to me the influence and loving relationship Kathleen had with her friends and more importantly the large number of girls she had taught at Sacré Cœur. It was clearly evident her contact and relationships with so many had never ended!

Kathleen truly loved the RSCJ, having spent five years as a boarder at Stuartholme, our sister school and seventeen years teaching at Burke Road.

She developed a love of history at Stuartholme which she expanded at Queensland University where she graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Arts and was the University’s Gold Medallist in her final year. She was then employed by the History Department under Professor Greenwood and also did a little part time work at Stuartholme.

After our marriage we purchased a home at 43 Burke Road in East Malvern, a short distance from Sacré Cœur. Kathleen found nuns teaching there who she had greatly admired when they taught her at Stuartholme. Mother McCrae was one who eventually persuaded Kathleen to join the History Department. At first this was on a part time basis, then as our family grew older she moved to full time as Head of History. (For many years, Kathleen served on the Victorian History Committee, and from 1978 to 1984 was Chief Examiner for Renaissance / Reformation History.) Subsequently she became Year 12 Coordinator and Chair of the Curriculum Committee and finally Deputy Principal, the position she held until her retirement in 1985.

Her close association with the School continued after her retirement. She served on the Sacré Cœur Board on two occasions, co-wrote the School’s centenary history with Denise Pitney, chaired the Janet Stuart Bursary Committee and worked with me on the Foundation’s Bequest Sub-Committee. In 1988 to mark the School’s centenary she planned and presented ‘Son et Lumiere’ telling the story of the School in a dramatic way. She also assisted in organising and presenting the highly successful Sacré Cœur Alumnae Art Show in 2006

In 1995 she graduated as a Bachelor of Theology, subsequently turning it into a Master’s Degree with high distinction in 2013.

To fill in time she became a member of the St Patrick’s Cathedral Centenary Committee and Convenor of the Cathedral Centenary Lecture Series. The last lecture was given by Dr Hilary Charlesworth, whom Kathleen had taught at Sacré Cœur and whom she held in high regard.

She had a great love for the Cathedral and when requested in 1996 she founded and became the initial President of the Friends of the Cathedral which provided for the first time a guiding service for the innumerable people who visit the Cathedral every day. She arranged and took an active role in training and educating those persons who wished to become guides.

Betty O’Brien RSCJ wrote in 1997 ” Kathleen’s passion, enthusiasm and sheer hard work in the midst of grandmotherly calls, has made an enormous difference and contribution to St Patrick’s and therefore to the life of Melbourne. Stuartholme and Burke Road bask in reflected glory!”

Kathleen’s life centred around her love of her family, of learning and education and of the RSCJ, its schools and its students.

She was a born historian with particular interest in the Renaissance and the Reformation -topics she taught with passion and enthusiasm which inspired her students to outstanding results. I believe she was regarded as a great teacher by her students and her peers in the teaching profession.

I wish to keep Kathleen’s name as well remembered and highly regarded as possible at Sacré Cœur. We had often discussed a scholarship to assist a student whose family was unable to meet the fees required. Her sudden and unexpected death brought these discussions to an end but it inspired me to do something about it.

After discussions with the Principal and the Foundation, who received my proposal with great enthusiasm, it has been decided to achieve this by establishing the Kathleen McCarthy Bursary to support the education of a student through Years 7 to 12 whose family who may not otherwise be able to afford a Sacré Cœur education, to be administered by the Foundation.

Even with a bursary contributing 75% of the current tuition fees, a substantial capital sum must be raised – at least $500,000 – and be invested to earn sufficient income to meet the annual cost in maintaining a successful applicant at the School.

I and my family have donated $150,000 now to help establish the initial capital sum.

I am writing to you and as many other girls (now women) as possible who were taught by, or knew, Kathleen asking you or your family as a whole, to make a tax-deductible donation to assist the Foundation in raising the balance of the capital required and perpetuate Kathleen’s name at Sacré Cœur.

In anticipation, below is further information about the bursary and donation form. If you require any further information regarding the bursary, please telephone me directly on 0419 541 509 or contact Erin Hayley, Marketing and Communications Manager at Sacré Cœur on 03 9835 2776.

Kind regards,

Brian McCarthy