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Catholic Education Council

The Catholic Education Council is an advisory body that provides advice on the responsibilities, policies and priorities of Brisbane Catholic Education.

During 2016, the Catholic Education Council met on 10 occasions to:

  • discern, provide advice and recommend to the Archbishop broad educational policies and strategic priorities for Catholic schools

  • monitor policy implementation in schools for which Brisbane Catholic Education is responsible and where appropriate, policy regarding religious education in Religious Institute schools.

The work of the Council continued to be inspired by and sought to implement the Vision for Catholic Education and the Archdiocesan Vision of Jesus, Communion, Mission.

2016 was a significant year for the Catholic Education Council, providing many opportunities to contribute to the direction of Brisbane Catholic Education, while striving to be pastoral in outlook, and seeking to initiate, encourage, support, promote and coordinate Archdiocesan educational activities in Catholic schools.


During 2016, Council supported the major review of four policies to be progressed in 2017, namely:

  • Justice Education: for better alignment with Laudato si’ to reflect the church’s current position on social teaching

  • Religious Education of School Aged Catholics: to enhance alignment of curriculum between ecumenical schools and teaching and learning policies

  • Health and Safety Policy: to include information relating to Brisbane Catholic Education’s commitment to establish measurable objectives and targets for continuous improvement

  • Student Protection: to incorporate recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse when available.

In line with the new Brisbane Catholic Education Policy Framework, Council agreed to align with processes that move review timeframes for policy from annual to triennial, from 2017.

The Archdiocese of Brisbane and the Council also reviewed the terms of reference for the Catholic Education Council during 2016, providing clarity as to the role of the Council and aligning similar documents across the Archdiocese.

Financial management

The Catholic Education Council is committed to transparent financial reporting that complies with relevant accounting standards. The Council provides oversight to policies, procedures and systems to safeguard assets, ensure accuracy and reliability of records, and ensure adherence to Archdiocesan policies. 

The Catholic Education Council Finance Committee provides further support in measuring, evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness of internal controls being applied throughout Brisbane Catholic Education. Further information on the Finance Committee is available here.


Throughout 2016, Council considered a range of reports on the activities and performance of Brisbane Catholic Education, including:

  • Legal issues report: this quarterly report is referred through the Catholic Education Council to the Archdiocesan Finance Committee, and documents current legal claims involving Brisbane Catholic Education. 

  • Workers compensation claims and premium analysis report: this annual report is referred to the Archdiocesan Finance Committee, and documents premium performance and claims experience for Brisbane Catholic Education during the year.

  • School development report: this annual report seeks Catholic Education Council support for the five-year school development schedule for Brisbane Catholic Education. 

  • Health and safety report: this report provides information regarding health and safety incidents and activities undertaken by Brisbane Catholic Education to manage health and safety risks in schools and offices. 

  • Risk management report: this annual report to the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Archdiocesan Finance Committee considers the management of Brisbane Catholic Education’s high and extreme risks.

  • Strategic Renewal Framework reporting: each quarter a report against one of the four priorities in the Framework is presented by Brisbane Catholic Education to the Catholic Education Council. Catholic Education Council has agreed that from 2017, this reporting will cease and new reporting will commence based on the strategic priorities in the Strategic Plan 2017-20.

Representations on committees

Ms Pam Betts and Dr Judith Mulholland provided regular reports to Council on issues before the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.

Ms Susan Rix continued in the role of Chair of the Catholic Education Council Finance Committee.

Ms Susan Rix and Mr Graeme Rush participated on a working group that guided the development of the 2017-20 Brisbane Catholic Education Strategic Plan.


During 2016, the Catholic Education Council experienced a number of changes.

Ms Susan Frisby was welcomed as a new member of the Council in January 2016.

Sister Elvera Sesta, Mr Graeme Rush and Mrs Carmel Howard finished their tenure on the Catholic Education Council during 2016.

The following is the list of Catholic Education Council members as at December 2016:

Dr Mark Sayers.jpg

Dr Mark Sayers is a barrister who specialises in family law, succession and guardianship law. Mark is also currently a presiding member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (Queensland).

Mark holds a PhD as well as bachelors and masters degrees from The University of Queensland in Arts and Law. Mark's doctoral studies in Thomistic natural law included research at both St Benet's Hall and Blackfriars, Oxford. For many years, Mark combined postgraduate study with the role of boarding house master at Brisbane Grammar School.

Peter Meneely CEC.jpg

Monsignor Peter Meneely was ordained a priest in 1989 and has served in several parishes throughout the Archdiocese over the past 28 years.

In his current role as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Monsignor Meneely has responsibility for overseeing, with the Archbishop, Archdiocesan Services, the Archdiocesan Development Fund, Brisbane Catholic Education, Centacare, Evangelisation Brisbane, and the financial administration of the Archdiocese. He also administers the parish of St Luke’s, Woolloongabba and provides sacramental ministry in parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

Miss Pam Betts has over 30 years' experience working in Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane as a secondary teacher and in leadership positions in Catholic schools. Pam's experience encompasses both systemic and Religious Institute schools and includes four years working with the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Prior to returning to Brisbane Catholic Education in 2010 in the role of Director, Administrative Services, Pam worked with Christian Brothers schools in Queensland.

Pam has a Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Education and masters qualifications in leadership and religious education. On 1 February 2013, Pam took up the role of Executive Director, Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane.

F Lam Vu CEC.jpg


Fr Lam Vu, a Capuchin priest, was born in Vietnam. He migrated to Brisbane, Australia with his family in 1979. He was ordained a priest in 2008 and holds a Licentiate of Spirituality at the University of Gregoriana, Rome. 

Fr Lam has worked as University Chaplain for University of NSW, Macquarie University, ACU (Melbourne) and the University of Notre Dame (Sydney). He was also a Vocation Director and Student Director for the Capuchin Friars. Fr Lam is currently the Parish Priest of St Mary's, South Brisbane and Administrator of Dutton Park Parish.


Susan Rix.jpg

Ms Susan Rix provides broad based consulting advice on family owned businesses, and specialises in corporate governance, family councils, succession planning, taxation structures and restructuring. Susan has extensive experience in taxation, general business and management services, provision of budgets, cash flow projections and providing advice to improve business efficiency and profits. 

Over the past 25 years, Susan has held many directorship positions on Queensland boards and also acts on various committees. As an adviser, Susan places particular emphasis on delivering relevant management advice to clients in a professional and personal manner.

Dr Jan Graiczonek CEC.jpg

Dr Jan Grajczonek is Adjunct Professor, the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle. Before appointment to this position, Jan was the Senior Lecturer and Director of Religious Education in the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane Campus from 2000 to 2015. 

From 1978 to 1999, Jan performed teacher and assistant principal religious education roles in Catholic primary schools in the Cairns, Toowoomba and Brisbane Dioceses. She has also held the position of kindergarten director. Her research interests are religious education in early childhood and primary school, young children’s spirituality and using children’s literature in religious education.

Dr Judith Mulholland CEC.jpg

Dr Judith Mulholland is a graduate of The University of Queensland with degrees in Science and Education Studies, and has a Master of Science (Science Education) and PhD from Curtin University of Technology.

She has taught in secondary schools in England, was science lecturer at Queensland Institute of Technology, and a sessional teacher educator at the Mt Gravatt College of Advanced Education.  Judith was a staff member at Australian Catholic University for 22 years during which time she was Head of the School of Education (2005-12). She was an Adjunct Professor of the university (2013-16).

Michael Finch CEC.jpg

Mr Michael Finch was educated by the Dominicans, Blackfriars Priory School and the Mercy Sisters, Mercedes College, Adelaide. Michael spent 12 years in the insurance and finance sector during which time he completed his Insurance Institute Diploma.

Michael is a past president and life member of Mercedes College Old Scholars Association and founding president of the Mercedes Old Collegians Soccer Club. Michael has performed the role of Parish Manager of Noosa Parish District for the past eight years, and is currently a Pastoral Board member for St Thomas More Primary, Sunshine Beach and St Teresa's College, Noosaville.

Susan Frisby CEC.jpg

Ms Susan Frisby holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Queensland. Prior to her admission as a solicitor, Susan was the Associate to a Judge of the District Court of Queensland for two years. As a lawyer in private practice, Susan has advised on corporate and commercial litigation matters, both in Australia and Ireland. She continues to be a volunteer lawyer at the Caxton Legal Centre.

Susan has a strong interest in ensuring Brisbane Catholic Education schools remain relevant and competitive, today and into the future. She has previous board experience and commenced her tenure on the Catholic Education Council in January 2016.

Sr Elvera Sesta CEC.png

Sister Elvera Sesta is a Presentation Sister. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Divinity from The University of Queensland and a Masters of Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago. Sr Elvera began her teaching career in 1960 and was educated at St Rita’s College Clayfield. She taught there as a Science/Maths teacher, Deputy Principal and then as Principal from 1989 to 2008. 

Sister Elvera was a member of the Curriculum Committee of the Board of Senior School Studies in the 1990s and was involved in setting up the St Rita’s College Board. Sister Elvera’s tenure on the Catholic Education Council ended in December 2016 after eight years of service.

Graeme Rush CEC.jpg

Mr Graeme Rush holds a Bachelor of Surveying from The University of Queensland and is a Fellow of both the Institution of Surveyors Australia and the Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia. Much of Graeme's professional career has been spent with the Queensland Government in various senior management roles dealing with surveying, valuation and land management. 

Graeme has been a company director of a national company and chaired the audit committee. He has a passion for ensuring quality corporate governance. Graeme’s tenure on the Catholic Education Council ended in December 2016 after eight years of service.

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101