Teachers transforming lives together

Leadership Day


On Thursday 25 January, 500 education leaders from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains gathered at Rosehill Racecourse ahead of the 2018 school year. This year’s theme centred on the need for a new educational narrative for Catholic schools in today’s world. At the heart of this narrative is transformation and curiosity.


The Jarara Aboriginal Education Unit, a service of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta based at Mount Druitt, led an inspiring Acknowledgement and Welcome to Dharug Country featuring students and staff from Xavier College, Llandilo, Catherine McAuley Westmead and Loyola Senior High. This was followed by a moving rendition of Advance Australia Fair, sung both in English and in the Dharug language.

Bishop Vincent

Education leaders led a reflection on Matthew 25:35-40, sharing contemporary examples of need and servant leadership in our learning communities. Bishop of Parramatta Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD then delivered a powerful address on the Mission of Catholic Education. With a strong focus on the preferential option for the poor, Bishop Vincent’s vision of inclusion and justice was warmly welcomed by school and system leaders.

Executive Director, Greg Whitby reported that transformation is the global agenda with schools in the UK, Scandinavia and even Thailand are all undergoing ‘transformational’ change. Greg also spoke of the need for teachers and leaders to stay curious and to encourage curiosity in students as the precursor to transforming learning and teaching.

Federal Member for Lindsay Emma Husar MP, an “old girl” of St Joseph’s Primary, Kingswood and Caroline Chisholm College, Glenmore Park, engaged system leaders in consultation on transforming education through government. Emma shared her own story and spoke about equity, inclusion and the challenges for children and young people in Western Sydney with deep conviction.

Principals at the System Leadership Day for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Parramatta have embraced the message of transformation and curiosity, using it as motivation to lead them into the 2018 school year. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Seven Hills Principal Kieran Byrnes

"It will all be about the kids’ learning, curiosity and relationships in the school community for us in 2018. Also, we can't forget to have fun along the way of our learning journey."


Emmaus Catholic College, Kemps Creek Principal Robert Nastasi
"Here at Emmaus we celebrate 30 years of learning. We are excited about providing PBL (Project Based Learning) and moving our students into a 21st Century learning environment with new classrooms and further renovations. Learning is the best thing!"


St Agnes Catholic School, Rooty Hill Principal Lisa-Maree Browning
"I have a new role this year which is very exciting. I return to school and I look forward to working for St Agnes as it is such a vibrant community. I recently caught up with a teacher from one of our feeder schools and it was really evident that we have a faith filled community which is integral to our mission to transform young lives."


McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains Principal Tania Cairns
"We at McCarthy are excited about 2018 as we have so much to look forward to with regards to our agenda of transformation. We are especially looking forward to P-TECH and our alliance with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Telstra which will work with our Stage 5 students."


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Posted By CathEd Parra at 7/02/2018 2:47:46 PM

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Media Enquiries

Media enquiries can be emailed to mrix@parra.catholic.edu.au. Please include your contact details, including your phone number and the deadline for your story. Alternatively call Mark Rix on 0417 442 018.

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