Mary Jane Stolp

One of the benefits of studying the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture was the high calibre of my student colleagues. Coming from a range of Catholic health, aged care and social service organisations, they brought a rich and varied range of knowledge and experiences to the course. I’m pleased to say throughout the course I learned as much from my colleagues and peers about leadership in a Catholic organisation, as I did from each of the units we studied.

Fortunately we also had amazing facilitators in Fr Joe Parkinson (Care of the Human Person), Dr Bernadette Tobin (Ethics), Dr Kevin McGovern (Catholic Social Teaching) and Julie Morgan (Leadership). Each of these individuals provided a unique approach but inspired us with their commitment and enthusiasm for the topic which was quite infectious.

Each of the 4 residential units was a journey in its own right and as participants we came away feeling enriched and fulfilled, with a lot more ‘food for the journey’. We also felt empowered to go back to our own (often quite different) workplaces to put our new knowledge and experience into practice in our day to day work and as organisational leaders. The course enabled each of us to better understand integration with Mission in our own areas of responsibility and importantly Mission discernment.

From a personal perspective the course gives permission to fully engage and participate in a very special journey enabling each of us to become formed and to enrich and build on our existing leadership styles and knowledge achieving a conversion of heart and mind to be the leaders of the future. I’d commend the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture to you and your teams a unique and powerful personal and professional development activity.

Mary-Jane Stolp
General Manager Strategy & Quality - Catholic Homes

There was a feeling of excitement and apprehension on day one of the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture. My pre conception that everyone attending was a devout and practicing Catholic was incorrect. There was a broad range of backgrounds, and different faiths and non-faiths, which added enormously to the rich discussion and learning. Our group included leaders from all areas within the healthcare industry including CEOs, nursing, finance, mission and services.

This course gives you the opportunity to hear from a variety of learned people  - Sisters, Archbishops, Bishops and Theologians who gave of their time freely. We were guided through various challenging debates on issues related to values and ethics, including whether there was still a role for Catholic hospitals in a secular society. We were taught that faith and values: are caught and not taught. To me, it is in our actions, behaviour and words every day - a strong message for all of us as leaders in Catholic organisations.

We often talked about transformation in healthcare and for me this course has been transformational on an individual level. It has made me become more aware of the need for more active engagement with staff and patients and the important role that hospitals play in restoring dignity. St Vincent’s staff have been actively working in our local community for many years, providing hot meals to clients of The Wellington, a drop-in centre in Collingwood. Since studying this course, I have joined other members of our Senior Leadership Team to provide a table service during the meals – a practical way to assist in restoring the dignity of The Wellington’s clients. This year I also participated and promoted the Vinnies CEO sleep out with Martin Day, CEO St Vincent’s Hospitals Australia, Private Hospital division. Together we were the highest fund raisers for Victoria!

In our busy lives, to have a week off site was initially a challenge to fit it in but what a blessing to have this time to learn, discuss, challenge and reflect. The Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture provided a wonderful foundation to be built on through actions and decisions every day. For those challenging decisions we face in our daily professional lives it provides a framework in using the mission, vision and values of our Catholic organisations. Fred Chaney challenged us – “There is no point being a Catholic hospital without being truly Catholic”. I am a leader of a Catholic hospital and proud of it. 

Ian Grisold
Chief Executive Officer – St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne