Brisbane Catholic Primary Principals Association

Tom Fitzsimon


Tom FitzsimonTHOMAS JOSEPH FITZSIMON was born in Mackay in 1937, the youngest of six children.  He was educated by the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers.  After graduation from Kelvin Grove Teacher's College, Tom spent 15 years with the Queensland Education Department, many of those years in country areas as principal.  At the age of 22 Tom married Margaret Galvin also from Mackay.  He spent 15 years teaching before joining Kelvin Grove CAE as a Lecturer in Education.  He continued his own education gaining Bachelor Degrees in Education and Arts from the University of Queensland.

In July, 1973, Tom joined the Catholic Education Office as Executive Officer, replacing a school friend of Mackay years, Mr Alan Druery in that role.  He worked closely with Fr Bernard O'Shea (then Director of Catholic Education in Brisbane).  In February, 1982, Tom became Assistant Director of Catholic Education in Brisbane and continued actively in that role until the sudden onset of illness in December, 1988.

During Tom's years in Catholic Education he had responsibility for developing much of the policy regarding Catholic Systemic Schools in the Archdiocese.  He was actively involved in the selection and induction of increasing numbers of lay principals and in maintaining friendly and supportive relationships with them. He chaired and served generously on a number of Committees concerned with Catholic Education, keeping close links with associated groups.  He had a major role in the early planning for and establishment of McAuley College and its relocation and he was also involved with the setting up of Ngutana Lui (the Aboriginal & Islander Studies Centre at Inala) in 1988.

Tom was a man committed to his God, to his wife and nine children and to his work for Catholic Education.  He was a man of unfailing courtesy - always having time for others, always willing to listen and to help if he could.  Those who were involved with Catholic Education in the Brisbane Archdiocese and beyond remember Tom with affection and with gratitude for his generous service in the field of education and the spirit he brought to it.  His hope would be for that spirit to continue.

See Also

The Tom Fitzsimon Award


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