Two Catholic educators included in Queen’s Birthday honours

The important service of Catholic education for society was again highlighted in the Honours List announced on Queen’s Birthday.

For their services to Catholic education, Jenny Gordon and Patrick Walsh are featured on this year’s Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours list.

Both have become Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Jenny Gordon

Gordon has contributed to Catholic education for more than 40 years, specialising in mathematics and religious education at several state-integrated schools.

She also coordinated the Catholic Family Life Education programme for the Wellington Archdiocese and helped develop and implement the document Te Houhanga Rongo: A Path To Healing.

In addition, Gordon was the vicar of education for the Archbishop of Wellington, the first female and first lay person to be in that position. In that role she oversaw Wellington Archdiocese’s Catholic state-integrated schools’ operations for over 45 schools.

She was instrumental in building strong relationships with the Ministry of Education, the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools and the New Zealand Catholic Education Office.

“It has been a privilege to have been involved in and to serve Catholic education and the state integrated sector.

“Of particular importance is that I have always been in a faith community where I was able to promote and strengthen Catholic education and be a kaitiaki of Catholic Special Character.”

Patrick Walsh

Former John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh says a letter from the Governor-General announcing a Queen’s Birthday honour was unexpected.

Walsh played a key role in the leadership of the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand and has been a member of the executive since 2005.

He is currently New Zealand’s representative on the Education Advisory Committee of the Australia Scholarship Group. In this role he will be responsible for reporting on trends, issues and initiatives from the New Zealand education sector.

His LinkedIn page lists years of dedication to education.

Ten years as Deputy Principal of De la Salle College, 17 years as Principal of John Paul College, three years as President of SPANZ, Chair of SIEBA and nine years on the Disciplinary Tribunal of the NZ Teaching Council.

He was also the President of SPANZ Union, President of ANZELA (NZ Chapter), elected Secondary School Principal representative on the NZ Teaching Council and is a former Chair of the NZ Law Society Seminars on Education Law.

In 2020 Walsh also received the Woolf-Fisher Fellowship to Harvard University.


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