After two weeks on the job, the new head of schools for the Catholic Education Diocese of Wagga Wagga says she is looking forward to beginning a new chapter for the region.
Appointed by the Archbishop of Canberra Goulburn, Elizabeth O'Carrigan will fill the interim director of schools role until a permanent director can be sought.
The resignation of former director Mark MacLean has left the position vacant since February.
When asked about the controversies that plagued her predecessor in the role, Mrs O'Carrigan said she was focused solely on the students.
"I really don't know anything about him, [so] I think I'm coming in with a very objective mindset," she said.
"I don't want to be distracted by thinking about this or that. The students are the focus."
For the past several decades, Mrs O'Carrigan has been working in Sydney as a teacher, principal, senior administrator and director of 51 schools. The interim appointment to the Riverina has come as a welcome return to home, with 31 schools now in her portfolio.
"I was looking after 22,000 students in Sydney but the 8500 students we have here are just as vitally important," she said.
Mrs O'Carrigan arrived in Wagga the same week the independent review into Kildare Catholic College and principal Rod Whelan's abrupt departure was finalised. Although she has only seen the summary report, Mrs O'Carrigan said that she will be "happy to put energy behind the recommendations that those professionals put forward".
"I didn't need to receive any more [than the summary]. I'm here to move the school forward so I didn't need to know all the aspects of it," she said.
"I think we just have to trust that the people who made the decision made it in the best interest of the community.
"What transpired before I came here, in relation to Mr Whelan, I don't think I need to meddle into any of that."
In replacing Mr Whelan, Mrs O'Carrigan said she is looking to "recruit someone who has had some experience in leading schools", to ideally start next term.
"Kildare College is an excellent college. This would be an exciting opportunity for the right person," she said.
This week, she has also begun visiting each school in the diocese.
"I think now's the time for action. Let's get the education right," she said. "You've got to choose where you put your energy, and I'm going to put mine into providing the best education.
"I would hope by the time I leave here, we have strengthened our response to schools."