From the Principal: 20 Jul 2022

By Fiona Godfrey, Principal

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the start of Term 3 to all parents, students and staff of Radford, especially those who are new to the College this term. I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday period and is now ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that this term will present.

Appointment of Deputy Principal and Head of Secondary School

Brad Cooney, new Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School from Term 1, 2023
Brad Cooney, new Deputy Principal, Head of Secondary School, from Term 1, 2023 (photo credit Catholic Education Archdiocese Canberra & Goulburn Twitter)

As has been detailed in previous Bulletin articles, the College conducted a national recruitment strategy over the course of Term 2 to find a replacement for Dr Adrian Johnson, who has now taken up the role of Principal at Trinity Anglican College, Albury. We were delighted with the number and calibre of applications we received from senior educators from across the country.

The decision-making process was lengthy, but in the end, it was very clear we had one applicant who was a standout, and that person was Mr Brad Cooney. Brad is currently the Principal of Xavier Catholic College, located on Bathurst Island, part of the Tiwi Islands group in the Northern Territory. Prior to taking on that role at the beginning of the year, Brad was Principal of St Clare’s College, Canberra for five years. In his leadership of St Clare’s over that period time, Brad was instrumental in bringing about large increases in student enrolments and oversaw some major capital works projects.

Prior to taking on the role of Principal of St Clare’s, Brad worked in the Catholic Education Office as a senior advisor, was an Assistant Principal at St Clare’s, and was Head of the Creative Arts Department and Head of House at Canberra Girls Grammar School. Brad is already well known to a number of staff here at Radford, including me, having worked with them at either St Clare’s or Canberra Girls Grammar in previous years.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Diploma of Education, a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education, and a Master of Educational Leadership and Administration.

Brad was very impressive at interview, clearly demonstrating his knowledge and experience in the day-to-day management of a large school; his understanding of curriculum, assessment and reporting; his passion for working with and supporting students; and his willingness to be involved in the broader life of the College. Brad has a very warm and engaging manner and I have every confidence that both the staff and students of the Secondary School will enjoy working with him.

Brad will begin at Radford in January 2023, but we hope he will be able to make a visit to Canberra in early November, possibly on the weekend the Fete is held. In the meantime, Ms Louise Wallace-Richards will continue as Acting Deputy Principal and Head of Secondary School for the remainder of the year.

Opening of the outside courts

After months of delays, mainly due to wet weather, it was wonderful to this week see students using the six new outside courts at recess and lunchtime, during PE lessons, and for sports training. The basketball rings still have not arrived but are due for installation in the coming weeks.

It was also wonderful to see that the new bike path into the school off Hayden Drive has been opened and a very large new bike rack has been installed. Judging by the number of bikes that are being left in the rack each day (though this isn't evident in the early-morning photo, below), we have sizable proportion of our students riding to school each day, which is very pleasing indeed. However, it was also noted that a number of the bikes are not being locked. Whilst we do have security cameras installed in all of these new areas, I strongly encourage all students to lock up their bikes before heading off to class.

New playing courts and bike racks

Learning Summaries

I would like to take this opportunity to explain why the end-of-semester Learning Summaries were released later than usual.

The two new Learning Management Systems (LMS) introduced at Radford this year both support continuous visibility of assessment results and feedback, but not a summative semester report. Therefore, a solution for semester Learning Summaries needed to be designed and built from scratch. For this initial implementation we anticipated we would need more time than usual to ensure the final version presented to families was as complete as possible. The development process involved coordination between multiple teams across the College and delivery timelines were impacted by staff illness and absence.

There has been considerable learning in the process of developing a solution and significant work has been required to ensure our data is accurate and consistent. For this reason, there may still be some issues with the representation of information in the Learning Summaries. Any issues or errors in the current presentation of summaries are currently being resolved. If, however, there is anything you think may not have been brought to the attention of staff, please inform Lindy Braithwaite (Secondary School) or your child's classroom teacher (Junior School) as soon as possible.

Year 10 Subject Selection Meetings

Over the next two weeks, all members of the Secondary School Senior Executive team will be meeting individually with Year 10 students to make sure their subject choices align with their ability, are a suitable package of subjects, meet their preferred university course prerequisite, and will give each student a level of enjoyment and success in the senior years.

For me, these meetings are a very rewarding and informative opportunity to spend time with individual students, hearing their concerns, listening to what excites them about going into Year 11 and, most importantly, getting to know them a little better.


As detailed last term, for the majority of this term I will be on sabbatical leave. I am out of the College from Monday 1 August, until the end of term. During my absence, Mr Andy Gordon will be Acting Principal, and as previously mentioned in this article, Ms Louise Wallace-Richards will be Acting Deputy Principal and Head of Secondary School.

I hope all members of the Radford community have a successful, enjoyable, and safe Term 3.