Meet Ann: One of Sutherland Shire's new principals

New principal: Ann Freeman (pictured) is taking over as the new principal at Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer near Cronulla. Picture: Chris Lane
New principal: Ann Freeman (pictured) is taking over as the new principal at Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer near Cronulla. Picture: Chris Lane

New principal Ann Freeman will have some encouraging words to share with her Year 7 students when they come pouring into school on Tuesday.

Ms Freeman is one of seven new principals taking over at schools in the Sutherland Shire this year.

She takes over from Gilda Pussich at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College Burraneer, an all-girls school near Cronulla for Year 7 to 10 students.

Ms Freeman said she had a rough idea of what she would say to her Year 7 students during the first assembly on Tuesday.

“I just wanted to talk to the Year 7s about the fact that I’m new too and despite the fact that I’ve probably been in about nine schools, and should probably be used to change and being new, I’m just as nervous and worried as a student is.

“So I basically just want to encourage them don’t worry about it too much … we all feel the same.”

Ms Freeman has worked as an assistant principal and acting principal in the past, but most recently spent two years working at Sydney Catholic Schools’ central office.

“In my last job, I was what was called a leader of learning in staff formation. I did that for two years and prior to that I was at Marist Sisters’ College which was a Year 7 to 12 school at Woolwich, and I was there for seven years.”

Ms Freeman, who is based in Hunter's Hill, said she applied for the job in Cronulla as it was a great fit. 

“I have an interest in girls’ education particularly. Also this is a mercy school and … I have been in a mercy school in the past so it is something that I know a lot about.”

Ms Freeman said she was particularly looking forward to spending time in the classroom again this year and involvement with co-curricular activities.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into teaching and we are putting on a college musical this year – that is something that I love being apart of,” she said.

“I love those extracurricular activities that balance out the educational aspect of the girls’ education.”

Ms Freeman started her career as an English teacher and religious studies teacher in 1988.

She said a benefit of an all-girls school was allowing the students to pursue their interests without distraction.

“Research has shown that it is a good time for girls to be developing skills of independence and pursuing ideas that they are interested in rather than being influenced by what boys prefer to do,” she said.

“And moving into a co-ed senior school [for Year 11 and 12] balances out those social issues that maybe lacking because they have been separated for four years.”

After finishing at the school, students attend De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College Burraneer has about 500 students and almost 40 staff.

  • New principals starting at schools in the Sutherland Shire in 2018:
  • David Toogood (Bates Drive School in Kareela)
  • Danielle Scott (Como West Public School)
  • Rosemary di Mattia (Laguna Street Public School in Caringbah)
  • Peter Buxton (De La Salle Catholic College Caringbah)
  • Ann Freeman (Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer in Cronulla)
  • James Pietsch (Inaburra School in Bangor)
  • Nick Coucouvinis (Sydney Montessori School in Gymea, interim principal) 

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