Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast celebrated a significant moment in its school history on 30 January with new Principal Ms Michelle Carroll officially inducted by The Most Reverend Jeremy Greaves, Archbishop of Brisbane at a College Commissioning Service.
As the fifth Principal since the College’s foundation in 1990, Ms Carroll said it was “an honour and privilege” to be part of the College’s history and vowed to lead with “imagination, courage and resolve”.
Ms Carroll joins the College as an outstanding leader with a passion for and academic interest in adolescent health and wellbeing.
Prior to commencing at Flinders in January 2024, Michelle was the Principal of leading all-girls school, St Catherine’s School in Melbourne, over 10 years.
Archbishop Jeremy Greaves – who was a Flinders parent for many years prior to relocating to Brisbane – invited Ms Carroll to “lead the staff and students under your care, honouring their gifts and cherishing their contribution to the building up of the College and the fulfillment of its vision”.
Upon her commissioning, Ms Carroll said the induction of a Principal is but a moment in time for any school.
“And for Matthew Flinders Anglican College: a fresh page, a new story, as yet unwritten and waiting to be filled with new aspirations, endeavours and memories,” she said.
“I have no doubt the chapter we write together will be remembered well.”
To the students, Ms Carroll said: “My wish for you is to explore the essence of a fulfilling life. Cultivate lasting connections, extend a helping hand to others, actively engage in your passions. Embrace a life marked by meaningful relationships and purpose, and in pursuit of excellence.”
Ms Carroll takes the reins from retired College Principal, Mr Stuart Meade, who led with distinction over seven years until December, 2023.
Flinders Commissioning Service, Tuesday, 30 January 2024
Flinders’ heart-warming Commissioning Service was attended by staff and students from Year 3 to Year 12, as well as representatives from the Flinders Early Learning Centre (FELC).
Special guests included members of the College Boards and parent community, Buderim MP Brent Mickelberg and Rector of the Anglican Parish of Maroochydore (St Peter’s Church) The Reverend Tania Eichler, along with colleagues, education industry leaders, and principals and retired principals from schools across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Toowoomba.
Ms Carroll was officially presented by the College Chair of the Board of Directors, Ms Peta Grenfell and College Chaplain Reverend Kathrin Koning to be commissioned by the Archbishop.
The Commissioning Service was emceed by Flinders Head of Secondary School, Mrs Anita Gibson and Head of Primary, Mrs Trudi Edwards.
The service included prayers, readings and the presentation of symbolic gifts to guide and inspire Ms Carroll from staff and students, including College Captains, Primary School Captains and Leaders, and representatives from the College Board, FELC, the Old Flinderians’ Association and Flinders Parents and Friends.
Special guests included friends and mentors who have supported Ms Carroll on her career journey, including Mrs Flo Kearney, Principal of Women’s College, University of Queensland; Ms Ros Curtis, Principal of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School; and Dr Amanda Bell, Retired Principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar School.
The College’s talented Wind Symphony, conducted by Mr John Thomas, and Chamber Voices, conducted by Ms Sally McHugh, performed moving songs to celebrate the special event in the College’s history.
Following the service, Ms Carroll, staff and guests gathered for a morning tea in the new state-of-the-art Infinity Centre, opened as part of the Flinders Masterplan.