(02) 9847 0030

Challenging Courses with Personal Learning Support

Alanna Jacoby is the Assistant Principal of Religious Education (APRE) at St Joseph's Catholic School, Mundingburra in Townsville, Queensland.

Student Story Alanna JacobyAs well as undertaking a Master of Education Leadership, she is currently studying a Master of Theology through The University of Newcastle and The Broken Bay Institute. 

Alanna is married with four daughters, enjoys watching cooking shows, “especially Masterchef”, supports the Cowboys NRL team, is a “Candy Crush tragic”, loves all things Tolkien and has recently discovered the benefits of yoga - “I love it even though I’m not very good!” BBI asked Alanna about studying Theology and her career path.

What has your career path been so far?

I worked for six years in the Toowoomba Diocese in country schools and moved to Townsville 20 years ago. I’ve been an APRE since 2005 and am currently working in a Primary School in Townsville. I love my job. It is interesting, challenging and very satisfying all at the same time. I very much enjoy having a whole-school focus and knowing all the families. I love working with passionate, dedicated and talented teachers and feel very lucky to be part of the Catholic school system.

My other role at school is a teacher of students with disabilities. I case manage 21 children who have special needs. This is a challenging but hugely satisfying role. I strongly believe that all schools have a great responsibility to all children to achieve success. Those who are vulnerable or at risk need special care and Catholic schools are well placed to provide supportive and welcoming environments. I do think of these kids as 'my' kids and strongly advocate for them.

Due to my work as an APRE I became increasingly interested in Theology. I know that my future lies in Catholic schools in leadership positions.

Why did you choose to study Theology with BBI?

Gerard Goldman, CEO of The Broken Bay Institute, spoke to a group of us at an APRE conference in Townsville. I was impressed with his relational description of the course and his confidence not only in the course but in his staff. He was very approachable and was willing to listen to any and all of our personal stories. He was genuinely interested in assisting us to not only study, but to gain a positive experience from it.

Aside from helping my career advancement in Catholic Schools in Queensland, studying Theology has given me a depth of understanding of the Catholic faith that I really appreciate. I was sincerely surprised about how interesting the courses were and impressed by the scope available. I not only feel that I have learnt a considerable amount but I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

How do you find the teaching staff at BBI?

The teaching staff members are fabulous. The content is challenging, however you are not left on your own to negotiate the course. The regular announcements and encouragement from the course coordinator are very valuable and the way the course is structured means that you are always kept on track. The subjects are interesting and the online classroom facilities are invaluable in assisting understanding and making the subject feel personal.

I was surprised by the quick response from the tutors. I sent an email on Good Friday not really expecting a response back until the following week and received a reply three hours later. To top it off my tutor then sent another email an hour later as he had been thinking about my question and felt he could contribute further – that is just gold!

I feel very comfortable emailing tutors and asking questions – they have not made me feel inadequate and the encouragement has been great. I feel that everyone wants me to succeed and that they will do all they can to ensure it happens.

What is the highlight of your time studying at BBI?

The people – which is an unusual comment when you study online – however I have just had the best service! Emails are promptly returned and nothing has been too much of a bother. I have also appreciated the outreach. I was very surprised but appreciative of the phone call I received early on in my first subject, ‘Biblical Foundations’. I was asked “How are you going?” “Is there anything we can help you with?” “Just let us know if we can help.” I got off the phone and thought, “How good was that?”

Back to top