Tomorrow, Friday 27 October, is World Teachers’ Day – a day to celebrate and recognise the contribution and work of nearly 67,000 teachers and leaders in our Catholic school communities throughout Australia.

This year the international theme is The teachers we need for the education we want.

There is a significant focus on responding to the teacher workforce challenges that we see across all sectors of education, and most felt in our regional, rural and remote areas. It’s not just about attracting more teachers to the profession, but also about how we provide the best initial teacher education, ongoing development and mentoring, and supporting teachers throughout their careers. It’s also about how we continue to lift the status of the teaching profession in our communities across Australia.

In our Catholic schools, the vocation of teaching reflects the desire to bring our young people closer to God and their faith, and to bring expression to the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

We come together with our school communities and thank our teachers for the vital role they play in educating, forming and inspiring their students. 

To mark World Teachers’ Day, this week we held our 2023 Australian Catholic Education Symposium with keynote speaker Prof Anne Graham AO providing a thought-provoking presentation on how Catholic schools can respond to student views on wellbeing, faith formation and learning.

This was followed by an engaging panel discussion about how we can apply this research in the school and diocesan context and an invitation to us to focus on the significance of not only what we do, but also why we do it.

Image of CEWA conference VIPs

Earlier this month, I attended the National School Improvement Colloquium in Perth which provided another valuable opportunity for Catholic education leaders and educators to come together to learn from each other and support practice.

The conference heard of the significant actions being taken across Catholic education at the local, state/territory and national levels to address improvement and meet the needs of students.

Jacinta Collins
National Catholic education executive director

Image top: National Catholic education executive director Jacinta Collins speaking at the National School Improvement Colloquium in Perth. Image below: Dr Debra Sayce, Catholic Education WA executive director, Eva Skira AM, commissioner and chair of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia, Dr Tony Curry, Catholic Education WA director – leadership and wellbeing, Jacinta Collins, National Catholic Education executive director and Dan Wood, Catholic Education WA team leader – school improvement. Photography: Matt Biocich.