History and College Fathers

St Mark’s College was the first Coptic school to be established in Sydney and the third in Australia, following the two schools in Melbourne. After many difficulties in finding a site, The College began in a small, rented, unused Catholic school in Lidcombe in 1996 with 226 students from Kindergarten to Year 7. Fr Markos Tawfik was the founding Director of the College. In 1997, a new Board was established for the College under the direction of HG Bishop Paula and Fr Antonios Kaldas became Director and currently serves in that capacity. In 1999, the College moved to its present permanent site at Wattle Grove in the south west of Sydney. In 2001, the first group of 21 students graduated from the College, with the majority of them scoring well enough to go to university. Of special blessing was the result of Mena Salib, a Year 11 student who completed his Mathematics Extension course one year early and came first in the state in this subject.

 

Fr Markos Tawfik – Founding College Director

Father Markos Tawfik laboured to fulfil the dream proclaimed by HH Pope Shenouda III to have a Coptic School in Sydney. He served as Director until the end of 1996.
Father Markos Tawfik was the first Coptic priest to be ordained from among the lay servants of Sydney, in 1980 and has served at St George Coptic Orthodox Church since his ordination. He was instrumental in establishing the parish of St Demiana and St Athanasius in Punchbowl and has served with distinction in the ecumenical field in Australia for many years. He is the Editor in Chief of St George Youth Magazine, the oldest Youth magazine in Australia. Father Markos was honoured with the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his many and varied services to the Coptic Orthodox Community in Australia.

 

Father Antonios Kaldas – College Director (1997-2004) & (2009-2012)

The Director of the College, Father Antonios Kaldas, was appointed at the College from its second year of operation (since its time in Lidcombe) in 1997.
Father Antonios was ordained a priest in 1991 and has been the parish priest of Archangel Michael and St Bishoy Church in Mt Druitt since his ordination until the present time.

 

Father Yousef Fanous – College Director (2004-2008)

Fr Yousef was ordained as a priest for St Mary and St Mina Cathedral at Bexley in June 2004.
He arrived to Australia November, 2004 and immediately started serving in the College as Director in December 2004.
Fr Yousef in coordinator in charge of El Manara monthly magazine and latter El Manara Newspaper, he is also assisting Fr Shenouda in his role in Ecumenical council and NCCA.

 

Father Shenouda Mansour – Head of the COS Department

Father Shenouda Mansour serves St. Mark’s College in numerous valuable ways, including the teaching of Coptic Orthodox Studies (Religion) in the Senior School and Pastoral Care. He is present in the School two days a week.
Father Shenouda was ordained in 1991. He has served at St Anthony & St Paul’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Guildford since his ordination. He is also the founder of the Youth Service for the Homeless in Sydney and represents the Diocese on numerous ecumenical councils and forums

 

Fr George Nakhil (College Chaplain 2009- present)

Fr George was ordained to the priesthood in 2002 and has served as a Parish Priest at St Demiana and St Athanasius parish in Punchbowl ever since. He was appointed to the newly formed role of College Chaplain in early 2009 with responsibility for the spiritual development and practices of the College.
Fr George is currently completing a Masters in Coptology with Macquarie University.