This week the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) national office came together to reflect on our current strategic priorities of Faith, Excellence and Access and to consider how we can support the Commission’s priorities and respond to the challenges that education faces as we move into the next strategic phase.

NCEC chair Nicholas Moore joined us to discuss the important role Catholic education plays within our society, challenging our staff to see their part in helping to realise our priorities and to create a thriving Catholic education sector for generations to come.

Nicholas focused on the need for simplicity and clarity in our work, and also transparency – being able to report on what we do well across Catholic education and what we need to improve.

CEO of Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) Dallas McInerney also spoke to the team giving an overview of the work of CSNSW and how the NCEC intersects with state and territory peak bodies and school authorities, which is such a critical component of our work.

There is considerable broad stakeholder engagement in our current review of our strategic priorities. NCEC director of strategy Anna Howarth is leading this work and reflected on the passion and commitment across our school sector to share this journey together for the best outcomes for our students and school communities. Anna led a workshop with NCEC staff to contribute to this review process.

Our director of mission and operations Robert Tonkli led a formation session with staff on Catholic Social Teaching and the way the four principles of inherent dignity of the human person, common good, solidarity and subsidiarity can provide a lens for the way the national office builds collaboration, culture and community.

We reflected on the words of St Paul in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, that although we consist of many parts with different talents and expertise, we form one body in the service of the mission and work of the NCEC. We considered the gospel message of hope that Catholic schools and communities can express to our students, parents and teachers amidst all of the challenges and difficulties they encounter in today’s world. 

As Catholic schools, our ‘systemness’ is a huge strength, allowing us to collaborate, share expertise and learn from each other to improve the work we do for our students.

We recognise that each member of the Catholic education community across Australia – from the team at the national office to the staff in our school communities – make a contribution to our shared mission to promote Christ-centred education providing excellence and inclusive schooling.

Jacinta Collins
National Catholic education executive director

Image: National Catholic education executive director Jacinta Collins and NCEC chair Nicholas Moore.