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National Treasure Mrs Gail Purdie Recognized for Exceptional Contributions to the St Brendan’s College Community

15 November, 2023

St Brendan’s College, as a member of the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) community, is thrilled to announce the well-deserved recognition of Mrs Gail Purdie, a true national treasure, who has been bestowed with the prestigious EREA Charter Leadership Award for the year 2023.

The EREA Charter Leadership Awards, is an annual tradition observed by over 55 EREA schools and colleges nationwide, with an emphasis on shining a spotlight on exceptional contributions by staff members who wholeheartedly support their school communities and the EREA vision and Charter. These accolades celebrate individuals who embody the Touchstones of Liberating Education, Inclusive Community, Gospel Spirituality, and Justice and Solidarity, which are at the heart of St Brendan’s College.

Gail Purdie’s nomination and subsequent selection for the Inclusive Community Award exemplify her extraordinary leadership qualities and significant contributions to the St Brendan’s College community. Over the course of 25 years, Gail has held a variety of crucial roles within the College, from Boarding receptionist to Main Administration receptionist, and currently serving as the Student receptionist. Her steadfast dedication and passion have been instrumental in fostering a warm and inclusive environment for students and their families from diverse backgrounds.

Principal Mr Robert Corboy spoke highly of Gail’s contributions, saying, “She has been a consistent presence in the lives of students, providing guidance, transportation to appointments, offering first aid, and being a compassionate listener for those in need.”

Gail’s remarkable commitment to the College’s musical productions is particularly noteworthy, as she has choreographed every musical in a volunteer capacity, dedicating countless hours to nurturing and developing students’ talents, Mr Corboy pointed out.

Gail’s nurturing guidance has empowered students to overcome self-confidence and self-esteem challenges, allowing them to excel in the musical arena. Many of her mentees have gone on to pursue careers in the music and drama industry. She played a pivotal role in one TSI student’s journey, guiding him to study music and become an integral part of the College’s music department.

Mr Corboy further praised Gail’s humility and integrity, noting that she never seeks accolades for her remarkable accomplishments.

The College, in its application to nominate Gail, stated that her exceptional listening skills, problem-solving abilities, and mentorship clearly demonstrate her unwavering commitment to inclusion and her ability to build connections with others. They emphasized that her embodiment of the College’s values and her inclusive nature exemplify the spirit of “Come as strangers, leave as brothers,” a sentiment that defines the St Brendan’s College’s community.

St Brendan’s College is bursting with pride as they honour Gail Purdie for her well-deserved recognition in receiving the EREA Charter Leadership Award for 2023.

Gail (far right) at this years Musical with (l to r) Ursula Boyd, Br Grundy, Jack Ingram and Gail Purdie. All have been involved with College Musicals since the first musical 24 years ago.