First male principal in 170 years of St Mary’s College Wellington

Crop Andrew Murray with his wife Benita and their daughter Charlotte

Andrew Murray will be the new principal of St Mary’s College in Thorndon, Wellington, the first man appointed to the role in the 170-year history of the Catholic girls’ secondary school.

Mr Murray has been deputy principal of Sacred Heart Girls’ College, New Plymouth, since 2011 and is currently acting principal there. He will start his new role at St Mary’s at the beginning of 2021.

The St Mary’s Board of Trustees had been seeking a new principal since the retirement last January of Catherine Ryan, principal since 2013. The board is delighted to have appointed Mr Murray, who has wide teaching experience in New Zealand and Australia.

Board of Trustees chair Juli Clausen says Mr Murray is ambitious for St Mary’s.

“He is enthusiastic and passionate about leading a school that develops outstanding students,” she said. “His vision is for St Mary's to be an excellent school with great tradition but not a traditional girl’s school.  He is a man of prayer and his Catholic faith is at the core of who he is.”

It will be Mr Murray’s second time at St Mary’s, which teaches girls from Year 9 to Year 13. He was a Dean and Assistant Director of Religious Studies at St Mary’s from 2006 to 2011.

Wellington-born Mr Murray has a BA in English and History from Victoria University of Wellington and Masters’ degrees from Australian Catholic University and the University of New South Wales.

In 2013, he was seconded to develop digital resources for New Zealand’s Catholic secondary schools in a project for the National Centre for Religious Studies, now part of Te Kupenga-Catholic Leadership Institute. He has also led projects for the NZ Qualifications Authority and the Ministry of Education around the NCEA changes.

He has also taught at St Bede’s College in Christchurch, Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth and at several Catholic colleges in Victoria and New South Wales. 

Picture: Andrew Murray with his wife Benita and daughter Charlotte.

 Andrew Murray with his wife Benita and daughter Charlotte.