ACU (Australian Catholic University)

6th International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership

ACU Leadership Conference 2013

Leaders in Catholic education are constantly challenged to live with paradox.

View photos of the conference from the Australian Catholic Superannuation flickr site.

We have been asked to be in, yet not necessarily of, the world. We have increasingly become a body of lay people in a Church that has a strong clerical leadership structure. Our schools work to meet the dual demands of both excellence and equity. We live and work in the worlds of both Church and State, and often find ourselves the servants of two masters. We address ethical dilemmas that require us to differentiate between not the good and the bad, but to choose the better of two goods, or the lesser of two evils.

We are challenged, in the words of The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium to write "on the very souls" of human beings, and yet to account in detail for quantified approaches to learning. We try to exercise empowering, shared leadership, while presenting ourselves as strong and capable people. We seek to ensure that our staff and students experience the very best of pastoral care, while often neglecting care of the self. We find ourselves juggling the ideals of the Good News of Jesus with the press of demand from an increasingly secular world. These embody only some of the paradoxes and possibilities of Catholic educational leadership. The 6th International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership will provide an opportunity for leaders in Catholic education to engage with them.

Come and join us at the Sofitel in Sydney from August 12th to 14th, 2013 as we bring together leaders in schools and universities, system leaders, congregational leaders and academics and researchers from Australia and internationally. View the conference program here (PDF, 204KB)

Our last conference in 2010 had 550 participants , including overseas visitors from some 16 countries. We were privileged to have the leaders of most of Australia's Catholic education systems with us. We hope that 2013 will be similar. There will be an opportunity to hear from a panel of quality speakers, and join with colleagues in dialogue about their experience and their research.

The conference will have five sub-themes

  1. Leading for mission and identity: Exploring the unique aspects of Catholic school identity, and the challenges this presents for leaders as they seek to evangelize in situations where religious practice is declining, and staffs and student bodies are becoming increasingly diverse.
  2. Leading for inclusion: Exploring issues such as the declining presence of the poor in Catholic schools and our engagement with those of other faiths. Considering our role in national reconciliation - how our schools welcome Indigenous students, address issues of race, and contribute to strong leadership of the Indigenous education agenda.
  3. Leading for educational quality: Challenging conventions about quality, exploring the fundamental purposes of Catholic education, how these should shape our approaches to learning and leadership. Juggling the broader mission of our schools in an accountability regime.
  4. Leading on the big stage: Engaging with the emerging understandings of leading systems of schools. Exploring the new movements in school governance, such as PJPs. Considering the influence of government funding on our schools, and how we use it. Asking ourselves what is best for our students in these emerging scenarios.
  5. Leading in partnership: Celebrating the role of the Catholic school as a part of the mission of the wider Church. Sharing lessons of school-parish partnerships. Considering the best ways in which schools and parents can collaborate. Finding out about "new generation" partnerships with business, industry and other education providers.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Emeritus Professor Tony D'Arbon
2013 Conference Chair

Page last updated: 15 Dec 2015

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