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Message from the Chair, Catholic Education Council

In 2016, the universal church celebrated the Year of Mercy. As our Archbishop, Most Rev Mark Coleridge observed, it was a time for us to know a deeper experience of the Mercy of God so that we could, in turn, become more and more deeply a people who offer mercy in an often merciless world. It was a privilege for all members of Council to be part of that pilgrimage of mercy throughout the year along with the students, staff, endeavours and dreams of everyone at Brisbane Catholic Education.

During 2016, Council worked with other agencies and governance bodies in the Archdiocese to review our terms of reference. The objective and result was greater alignment across the various Archdiocesan agencies as regards governance protocols.

Council also contributed significantly to development of Brisbane Catholic Education’s Strategic Plan 2017-20, with two Council members participating on a working group with other stakeholders to ensure the plan documented the intended direction of Brisbane Catholic Education over the next four years.

Council also supported the major review of four policies, which will be further 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. 

Well-established reporting on the performance of Brisbane Catholic Education continued in 2016, which supported the Catholic Education Council in monitoring and advising on current and future challenges and opportunities for Brisbane Catholic Education.

In line with the Council’s terms of reference, a number of membership changes occurred in 2016, including the welcoming of Ms Susan Frisby as a new member in January 2016. 

Sister Elvera Sesta, Mr Graeme Rush and Mrs Carmel Howard finished their tenure on the Catholic Education Council during 2016. I extend my gratitude on behalf of all members of the Council for Sister Elvera, Graeme and Carmel’s generous commitment to the work of the Council. I also record my gratitude to Dr Judith Mulholland who continued as Council's representative to Queensland Catholic Education Commission meetings in 2016.

In 2016 Council continued to draw its inspiration for Brisbane Catholic Education from the Archdiocesan Vision: Jesus, Communion, Mission.

I wish to record my deep appreciation for the generosity of time, spirit and talent that has marked the service of members and secretariat of the Catholic Education Council over the past year.

Dr Mark Sayers

Chair, Catholic Education Council

Archdiocese of Brisbane

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