New name, same great local Catholic schools

From the beginning of 2023 Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta has a new name, Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese. In the spirit of leading together, the organisation also has a new governance framework.

The intention of these changes is to reflect contemporary governance practice and strengthen decision-making and accountability. This includes a new Board of Directors led by Chair Elizabeth Crouch AM.

Meet the Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese Ltd (CSPDL) Board

Board of Directors - Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese Ltd

Board of Directors as at 8 September 2023. Greg Jones, Anthony Karam, Professor Marea Nicholson AM, Elizabeth Crouch AM, Maria Pearson and Nicole Patterson.

Elizabeth Crouch AM | Chairperson

Elizabeth is Chair of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, the Customer Owned Banking Association and SGS Economics and Planning, and a Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed ReadyTech Holdings and Bingo Industries. Elizabeth is also on the Boards of the NSW Institute of Sport and Health Infrastructure and Chairs the Audit and Risk Committees for the City of Sydney and IPART. She is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Western City Aerotropolis Authority and is an appointee to the Diocesan Finance Council for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

Elizabeth is Emeritus Deputy Chancellor of Macquarie University and has held previous Non-Executive Director roles on the Boards of Chandler Macleod Group, McGrath Estate Agents, RailCorp and the Macquarie University Hospital. She was previously on the Board of Western Sydney Local Health District and a Trustee of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Elizabeth spent 16 years with the Federal Government including with Federal Health and more than a decade in the private sector including as Chief Executive of the Housing Industry Association.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Cyber Security. In 2019 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to higher education and the rail transport sector and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michael Howard | Board Member

Michael is General Manager - IDE Australia, a role held since 2015. IDE Water Technologies Ltd is a world-leading global desalination company headquartered in Israel.

The Australian operation supports the company’s focus on developing large-scale desalination plants in mining, industrial and municipal sectors. Prior to IDE, Michael was General Manager and then Managing Director of Chatoyer Holdings Pty Ltd, an SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) involved in the design and manufacture of modular water treatment systems, and supply of environmental spill containment products. He was previously Director and founding joint shareholder of Waycon Services Pty Ltd, established in 1986 to provide engineering and trades labour hire, project delivery and mechanical services to the construction, manufacturing, heavy engineering and mining sectors which grew to over 300 employees. This followed 11 years of working on projects in the mining and construction sectors with a major Australian engineering & construction group.

Michael's business experience covers the many facets of SME business development and growth from start-up to mature operating business. This has included developing business opportunities across varying market sectors, project delivery, commercial and contract negotiations, client interface, positioning major project opportunities, managing and coordinating project tender submissions, and development of joint venture teaming arrangements for major project opportunities.

He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Bowls NSW and Board Member - Advisory to PCT Global Pty Ltd. Previous board positions include Director (10 years), Vice President (2 years) and Chairman (5 years) of Castle Hill Bowling Club Ltd.

Scott Jenkins | Board Member

Scott has been Chief Financial Officer at Australian Catholic University (ACU) since January 2014, responsible for driving corporate strategies, financial high performing teams, treasury, procurement, insurance, financial planning, and reporting to the Board.

Scott is an accomplished C-suite executive with experience leading financial strategy and delivering corporate strategy at a range of diverse businesses, including private companies, start-ups, not-for-profits, and large multinational companies. Scott has worked across diverse sectors including higher education, mining, advertising, pharmacy, energy and insurance, across the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Scott is being appointed as a Board Member in September 2023.

Greg Jones | Board Member

A school principal for 25 years, Greg has a vision of educational provision built around quality learning and teaching, student wellbeing and strong governance structures that involves the school community in shaping the culture and direction of the school. Greg is the Chair and founding Principal of Peninsula Community of Schools (PCS) involving a number of schools working collaboratively to enhance public education on the Northern Beaches. He also received ministerial appointment to oversee the community consultation and re-establishment of Hunters Hill School and Erskineville Public School.

Greg was an education partner with Panasonic Australia to develop an interactive whiteboard for classroom use that was sold worldwide and became the interactive board in NSW schools. He acted as Chief Education Officer, School Improvement, Northern Sydney Region, responsible for supporting schools in developing school improvement targets. Greg was a leader in 'Revitalising Inner City Education', an inclusive education focus responsible for community consultation, implementation and integration of a support unit for students with physical disabilities at Balmain High School.

Greg has received a number of accolades in the education sector including NSW Primary Principals Association, Professional Award 2017 for 'Excellence in School Leadership', Director General’s Award 2011 for 'Outstanding Service to Public Education', Director Generals School Achievement Award, 1997 'Commitment to Equity of Student Outcomes' as Principal of Truscott Street Public School and a number of other awards tied to his position as Chair of the PCS.

Greg is an Emeritus Council Member of Macquarie University and has held various governance positions at Macquarie University and Northern Beaches Council and community.

Anthony Karam | Board Member

Anthony is the executive chairman of TMA Group of Companies. He was appointed Managing Director of Ticket Manufacturers Australia Limited in 1996 and was the Managing Director of Mark Sensing Limited in 2008.

In November 2008 he was appointed to the board of Parking Australia Ltd, where he served for over 7 years, and in 2015 was appointed Vice President of Parking Australia. He also holds a number of director positions in Australia, New Zealand, USA, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

In 2011, Anthony was appointed a member of the Diocesan Finance Council for the Maronite Eparchy of Australia and then in 2014 to the Board of the Australian Maronite Professional Council Limited where he served for 3 years.

Anthony is a member of several industry associations including the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Property Council of Australia, the Security Providers Association Australia, and the Australian Security Industry Association Ltd.

Emeritus Prof. Marea Nicholson AM | Board Member

With more than 40 years’ experience, Professor Marea Nicholson AM has made a significant contribution to governance, teaching and learning including special education, school counselling, teacher education and particularly child protection in Catholic, Government and Independent schools. She has been involved with the Australian Catholic University and its predecessor colleges since 1987 including leadership in course design and program coordination, and professional development. She was appointed to the position of Associate Vice-Chancellor (NSW/ACT) in 2009, and Emeritus Professor in 2019.

In 2012, Marea received the Rotary International Award for Vocational Excellence in recognition of her dedication and the pursuit of excellence throughout her career. In 2016 she was successful in obtaining NSW Government funding to establish two business incubator spaces on both North Sydney and Strathfield Campuses. In 2020 Marea was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for significant service to education, and to professional standards.

Marea has had numerous leadership roles within education including Chair of Catholic Religious Australia’s Education Committee and Chair of Initial Teacher Education Council. She is currently a Good Samaritan Board Chair and a member of National Catholic Education Commission and the Committee of Religious Institute and Ministerial Public Juridic Person School Authorities Australia (CORMSAA).

Nicole Patterson | Board Member

Nicole commenced working with Westpac Banking Corporation in 1998. Since 2012, she has been the Head of Finance for the Westpac Group’s three charitable foundations with responsibility for their financial governance. Prior to this, Nicole held a number of senior finance and project management roles across Westpac Group, including BT, St George Bank and Westpac’s retail and business divisions.

Prior to joining Westpac, Nicole worked in the Audit & Assurance Practice of Price Waterhouse in both Sydney and London on a range of audit and transaction advisory assignments, specialising in the financial services sector. Nicole is currently a director of Loreto Normanhurst School Board and UNE Foundation Limited.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) from UNSW and a Graduate Diploma in Local & Applied History from the University of New England. She is also an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Maria Pearson | Board Member

Maria had a 42-year career in Catholic Education. Prior to retirement in 2019, Maria spent 15 years as the Principal of Mount St Benedict College. Maria has held other leadership positions including as the Pastoral Care Coordinator at St Dominic’s College Kingswood, Administration Coordinator and Co-curriculum Coordinator at St Leo’s College Wahroonga, and Deputy Principal at Our Lady of Mercy College (OLMC) Parramatta.

Maria was the President of the Association of Catholic Principals NSW from 2012-2018, NSW Director of Catholic Secondary Principals Australia from 2013-2018, Member of the CEC (NSW) Education Committee and Member of the CLRI Education Policy Committee between 2015 to 2017. She was also a member of the Catholic Independent Schools Employment Relations Reference Group until 2019.

Maria has held various directorship positions including Seton Villa Ltd, Edmund Rice Special Education Services and the Broken Bay Diocese Schools Board.

Very Rev Robert Riedling EV, Dean and Administrator | Board Member

Fr. Robert Riedling was appointed as the Dean and Administrator of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta in 2021.

Fr. Robert lived overseas for a period of time before returning as a parish priest in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Fr. Robert, who was ordained in June 2005, has lived almost his entire life in the Diocese. He was born in Penrith and grew up in the Blacktown area. He joined the seminary in 1999 and was ordained a deacon and priest at the Cathedral, now in his care.

Following his ordination, Fr. Robert served in the parishes of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes, St Michael’s, Blacktown South (before it became Mary, Queen of the Family Parish), and Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park.

St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hilly students studying
Professional Learning development at Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese Ltd
St Margaret Marys Merrylands teacher assisting student
Our Strategic Intent

We are committed to transforming the learning of each student in Catholic Schools.

Our Executive Director

Jack de Groot is an innovator, advocate, administrator and leader. His mission to transform schooling for every child and young person is driven by a strong commitment to justice and equity.

Our Executive Team

The CSPD Executive Team is responsible for the development and execution of the system strategy for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Compliance and Reporting

Find out how we manage the school compliance, accreditation and improvement processes for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Parramatta.

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