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Beginnings 1975

The Parish Beginning

The Kambah Parish, The Way The Truth and The Life.
Archbishop Cahill appointed Father William Kennedy to be Parish Priest of Kambah in the Tuggeranong Valley in January 1975.
With the approval of the Archbishop, Father Kennedy chose the name of the Parish, (Kambah Parish) and the motto, (I am the way, the truth and the life.)

Father Kennedy

Father Kennedy was the Parish Priest for 20 years, before moving to Saint Joseph's O'Connor.  Father Kennedy has lots of gifts but one that stood out was that he can remember everything including everyone's names.  Father Kennedy and the children formed a great bond with each other.


The School's Beginning

The School was estaplished by Father Kennedy in February 1977.  On 15th October, 1977 the school was officially opened by Senator Carrick and blessed by Archbishop Thomas Cahill.

When the school started there were fourteen staff members; Maryanne Burkett, Denise Tomkinson, Helen Conway, Mark Cozens, Bill Hutchinson, Anne Milling, Terry McGregor, Anne Longhurst, Jill Eccles, Pam Richardson, Kim Nicholls, Caroline Evenden, Sue Hetherington and Principal - Paul Woodcock.

Saint Thomas' was the first Catholic School in Canberra to be fully staffed by lay teachers. The first year had 10 teachers, 1 secretary, 1 librarian and Principal Paul Woodcock.  The school started with 324 students but it grew rapidly and soon two more teachers joined the staff.

The Forming of the School Houses

In 1977,  the Staff Sports committee was given the task of chosing names for the houses.  They decided to name the houses after old homesteads in the Tuggeranong Valley.  The names Cooleman, Erindale, Riverview and Lanyon were chosen.  Each house was given an Australian animal as its symbol.
Cooleman - Kookaburra, Erindale - Koala, Riverview - Kangaroo, Lanyon - Emu.

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