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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools


St Saviour's College principal, Sharon Collins

Sharon Collins, Principal of St Saviour’s College Toowoomba has been recognised nationally, and received an ACEL Leadership award for her outstanding school leadership as a strong advocate for educational excellence in diverse environments.

“Under her leadership, St Saviour’s College, a boarding-school with 25% indigenous and 29% language background other than English students has become a recognised leader for embracing diversity,” said Dr Judy Smeed, renowned education expert.

Through Sharon’s work with staff, parents and students to establish high-expectations and excellent relationships, St Saviour’s College has seen an annual increase in enrolments at the rate of 25% for the past two years with marked improvements in student results as well. 

“All students in Year 12 graduated with a Queensland Certificate of Education; in 2019 the Courier Mail named St Saviour’s as the third most improved secondary school in Queensland in junior secondary and they have been named the most improved secondary school in the region in 2018 and 2019,” said Dr Smeed.

Alongside Sharon's leadership of St Saviour’s College she works with principals across Toowoomba and was responsible for coordinating the Toowoomba boarding schools response to COVID-19.  This was particularly important for remote indigenous community students.

“When COVID-19 was detected in Brisbane, Sharon organised for all boarding students to be flown home before their communities were locked down. She also organised weekly packs of school-work, toiletries etc to be sent to St Saviour’s students. Parents commented on her outstanding leadership and the work of teachers. Online attendance in all lessons during remote learning was over 90%,” commented Dr Smeed.   

St Saviour’s and Sharon’s leadership is seen as a ‘lighthouse school for diversity’ with other schools from throughout Australia contacting or visiting to learn from its achievements.

“I am humbled by the award,” said Ms Collins, “I have a passion for working with all young women, irrespective of their background, as they all deserve a liberating education.”