Sister Marlene Chedid, a resident of Parramatta, has served in the role as Principal of Our Lady of Lebanon College in Harris Park since 2005. During this time, Sister Marlene has distinguished herself as a compassionate and sensitive leader whose door is always open to staff, students and parents alike.
Our Lady of Lebanon College has a student population of close to 1200, encompassing both a Primary and Secondary school. As a result of Sister Marlene’s own initiatives, the College has recently acquired a new building that incorporates classrooms, a library, an IT room and a multi-purpose hall, and the secondary school students have access to new technologies including laptops, internet and SMART boards within the classroom.
Outside of her role as Principal, Sister Marlene maintains a commitment to the spiritual and pastoral aspects of the parish by continuing to serve at Masses. She is also active in the local Maronite Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Lebanon and is regularly called upon to sing at weddings and funerals.
Every Saturday morning Sister Marlene runs a talk back programme on the Maronite community radio station where she invites community members to call in and discuss contemporary issues.
For many women within the local Maronite community, Sister Marlene is considered a role model – a source of wisdom and inspiration. For women facing personal issues, she is particularly valued as a good listener with a constant smile.
Sister Marlene’s career began when she entered the Congregation of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family at the age of 15, and studied music at the University of the Holy Spirit in Lebanon. She came to Australia in 1978 to assist in the development of the Congregation’s local schools.
Throughout her early life in Australia, Sister Marlene worked at St Maroun’s Primary School in Redfern and at Our Lady of Lebanon College as Secondary Language other than English (LOTE) Coordinator and teacher. Back at St Maroun’s, Sister Marlene was then appointed Deputy Principal, where she helped the school transition to a K-12 College.
Sister Marlene’s studies in Australia have included a Certificate of English as a Second Language through the Adult Migrant Education Service in 1978; a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney in 1984; and a Master of Arts (Theological Studies) at Australian Catholic University in 1999.
Sister Marlene’s nomination for the Women of the West Award is supported by a recommendation from Dr Geoffrey Lee MP, Federal Member for Parramatta. Dr Lee’s recommendation states that Our Lady of Lebanon College “continues to thrive under her outstanding leadership.”