Staff 2021

  • Fr. Wahid Riad - Parish Priest

  • Mr. Ben Shields - Principal

  • Mrs. Karen Williams - Administration Officer

  • Mr. Mark O'Sullivan - Leader of Learning Diversity, Wellbeing, PE Specialist

  • Miss Emma Burge - Foundation/1 Teacher

  • Ms. Moira McNamara - Grade 1/2 Teacher

  • Mrs. Amanda Thomas - Deputy Principal, Grade 3/4 Teacher

  • Miss Isabella Dowthwaite - Grade 5/6 Teacher

  • Ms. AnneMaree Bernado - Learning Support Officer

  • Mrs. Barb Burchett - Learning Support Officer, Library Technician

  • Mr. Rob Wolff - Learning Support Officer

We at St Mary's Primary School are a community of learners who are passionate about and dedicated to our work. We are deeply committed to supporting all of the children who are entrusted into our care to thrive.


We believe that children learn when they feel safe and supported in a happy and welcoming environment. We also believe that they learn through trusting relationships and when they can engage in relevant and purposeful experiences where they are active in the process of learning. We offer a holistic education set within a richly diverse curriculum and aesthetically appealing environment. We encourage curiosity, creativity and our children to be make choices in their learning.

Our community is constantly developing our learning areas to allow for learning experiences inside and outside. We have an extensive playground for the children to enjoy, and large classrooms that allow flexible learning to occur.  We are in the process of planning with the children our Indigenous Garden and Interactive Garden. The children are very eager to contribute to this area and it will offer another engaging area in which they can play.


Our money raised from selling our garden produce has financed our chicken hutch and a water feature for our reflection garden. Specialist subjects including Physical Education, Chinese, Performing Arts and Music are offered and we support children's natural curiosity and need to express themselves creatively. We are facilitators of learning who promote our children to use initiative, build problem solving skills and develop independence through our programs. We are flexible in what we offer according to the needs of each child and we place importance on  overall well being which is the foundation to growth in all areas.


Our children are encouraged to take risks and try new things through the adventure of learning. They have the opportunity to choose and take part in various hobby activities. We also participate in sporting and cultural events with other schools in Castlemaine.  Our goal to become a 5 Star Sustainable school is almost achieved and highlights our focus on stewardship and caring for the Earth. Our garden based learning and sustainability work gives us the opportunity to provide children with real life learning situations that can be followed through at home. 

We have an experienced and hard working staff who use their knowledge to tailor learning to the needs of the children.  This is achieved through open ended activities as well as explicit teaching in small focus groups which is informed by various types of assessment that measures the needs of the children.  Professional development for staff in Literacy, Numeracy and Student Well-being helps us to continue to develop our effective curriculum. Working in partnership with our families and the local community is vital to the culture of the school, and is greatly enhances our work.

 In partnership with our vibrant community we aspire to the late Sir Ken Robinson's vision, "To enable students to understand the world around them and the talents within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens".   

We see learning as a great creative adventure. We believe that children are naturally curious and eager to learn. We aim to tap into and  nurture this desire for learning in our students by providing a welcoming atmosphere where each child is accepted, challenged and supported to flourish as a person.

The history of St. Mary's school parallels that of many Victorian goldfields schools in so many goldfields towns whose growth and development reflect that of Castlemaine.