Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Governance Update for 2020. At our first meeting as a Steering Committee this year, we collated and addressed what we call the ‘threshold issues’ that have emerged in our analysis of the consultations undertaken late in 2019. We also divided up the work that needs to be done into seven workstreams:

  1. Catholicity, mission and governance
  2. Stakeholder identification and engagement
  3. Transfer of assets and liabilities
  4. Risk management
  5. Legal
  6. People/human resources
  7. Finance.

While acknowledging the complexity of the legal and operational issues involved in moving to a new governance model, we want to keep uppermost in our minds the mission of our schools and the educative ministry of Catholic education, rather than simply undertake this process as a compliance measure to meet new funding requirements.

Some of the key threshold issues which have emerged from the consultation to date include the:

  • maintenance of Catholicity in schools
  • transition of schools from the current canonical authority (parish priests and canonical administrators) to a company
  • critical roles of parish priests and principals in maintaining fidelity to mission
  • transition of Catholic Education Melbourne from being a service provider to schools to being an operator of schools, while continuing to be a service provider to schools in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and other dioceses.

As we enter the next phase of the stakeholder engagement process, we will use two strategies for consultation:

  1. holding the next round of shared regional forums with parish priests and principals.

To accommodate the Lenten Prayer Day for clergy on 11 March, we have moved the Eastern Region event to the afternoon of Tuesday 10 March. We have also changed the timing of the two morning sessions to 11 am to cater for those priests who would be unable to attend because of morning Mass commitments. We are committed to scheduling them at times that maximise access. We will contact those who have already registered to confirm the scheduling change.

Please find the amended schedule below:

  • Thursday 5 March            Northern, 11.00 am – 12.30 am
  • Friday 6 March                 Southern, 11.00 am – 12.30 am
  • Tuesday 10 March           Eastern, 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm (moved from Wed 11 March to accommodate the Lenten Prayer Day for the Clergy)
  • Friday 13 March               Western, 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm.

Registration for these sessions can be made at: https://tinyurl.com/Governance-consultation

  1. producing a position paper (green paper), which sets out proposals while the issues are still at a formative stage for discussion, then a white paper setting out firmer positions for decision, policy, decree, constitution, charter or agreement, as appropriate.

A reminder that the website https://governance.melbourne provides information, is a site of input and dialogue, and enables appropriate and current communication, as requested by stakeholders. As always, if you wish to provide additional feedback, please fill out a contact form on the site, or email governance@cem.edu.au.

The Steering Committee