Dear colleagues,


Welcome to the Governance Update, the first of a regular series of messages being sent to clergy and principals so that we can all be kept informed as we walk the governance reform road together. The following thought from Archbishop Peter’s message at the outset of the process expresses an important consideration in our current endeavours: “Our parents and families of Catholic school students deserve the best and the safest learning environments we can offer for their children, and good governance is one of the ways we can ensure the future of Catholic education in the years ahead.”  A commitment to mission and the strong relationship between parishes and their schools were important themes in Archbishop Peter’s address and continue to be prominent in the consultation that has occurred thus far.


We already have held two of our four regional forums for clergy and the Word Cloud that appears below graphically represents some of the issues that were raised in those forums. The Steering Committee will use Word Clouds, Reports, surveys and other strategies to interact with you as we work together to shape the governance arrangements for the future of Catholic education in the years ahead.


The two remaining regional forums for clergy will occur in the coming weeks along with similar forums for Principals.  These forums are proving to be very effective in terms of drawing out the issues that the Steering Committee will need to ensure are adequately addressed as the process unfolds.  Already we know that we will need to produce clear statements and protocols to ensure that the relationship between the parish and its school is protected and fostered by any change in governance.  This will be a key task that will involve active input from priests early in the process.


There is much more that could be said about the work that lies ahead but these updates will be kept brief and will be sent as further steps are taken in the process.  I conclude by announcing the names of the Archbishop Peter’s appointments to the Steering Committee.  Archbishop Peter will also appoint an independent chair and this appointment will be announced in our next update.


Jim Miles Acting Executive Director CEM
Fr Michael Gallacher Parish Priest Glen Iris
Fr Mark Reynolds Parish Priest Surrey Hills Wattle Park
Nigel Zimmermann Principal Advisor to Archbishop CAM
Paul Velten Director – Finance & Corporate Services CAM
Tracy Connors Parent representative CSPV
Victoria Wissell Primary Principal – St Brigid’s School Healesville
Christina Utri Secondary Principal – Catholic Regional College St Albans
Anna Rados Acting Assistant Director Enterprise Services CEM
Paul Sharkey Director Catholic Leadership and Governance CEM


We are pleased that the process has begun so positively and I encourage you to keep communicating with us using the following governance email address if you have any issues you wish the Steering Committee to consider as it moves into its work:


Jim Miles