New principal takes the helm at Penola Catholic College

New Penola Catholic College principal Tracey Kift.

Tracey Kift

Penola Catholic Collegehas welcomed a new Principal in 2024.

Tracey Kift is the fifth principal of the college, and its first female principal.

“I am excited to build on the strong foundations established by the past principals and to support the college to continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our students,” Ms Kift said.

Ms Kift has spent 20 years in leadership roles in Catholic education, including as deputy principal of Kolbe Catholic College and Marymede Catholic College.

She also spent time working as a journalist at The Age newspaper, before her passion for education drew her back into the classroom.

“I would be sent out to a school by The Ageto cover a story and find myself not wanting to leave. I realised I was meant to be an educator and that I wanted to be making a difference to the lives of young people,” Ms Kift said.

It was the unique structure of the college’s two campuses in Glenroy and Broadmeadows that appealed to her.

It can be intimidating for students to come to a large secondary school. Having a dedicated Year 7-8 campus with a team of specialists in middle years education provides students an unparalleled transition to secondary school.

By the time students move to the Senior Campus, they have developed the confidence and independence required to pursue their individual pathway and passions.

“One of the first things I had the pleasure to do as principal was to welcome our Year 12s into our new Senior Learning Centre, the Annie Brice Building. It’s a wonderful environment that feels more like a university than a secondary school, and our students are so excited to have such an inspiring learning space,” she said.

However, it isn’t just students who are a focus for the new principal. Staff Wellbeing is also a key priority for Ms Kift.

“While teaching is a wonderful profession that brings a great deal of joy, it is also demanding and challenging. In order to support our students, we need to ensure our staff feel supported and valued, and that we minimise all the things that consume teachers’ time and let them do what they do best – helping students learn,” said Ms Kift.

For those new to the community, or considering a place at the college, please visit to book a tour or apply online.