CEB Staff Newsletter #3 - 9 February 2024
Message from the Bishop
Maintenance Work on Cathedral Fence
I write to advise that there will soon be maintenance work done on the fence around our cathedral. The cast iron fence is of high heritage value, with significance for the Ballarat community generally as well as for our Catholic community. Unfortunately, the fence shows considerable deterioration and needs repainting. Following consultation with the cathedral parish council, I have asked that this maintenance work be done as soon as it can be arranged.
In 2015, during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the LOUD Fence movement began the practice of tying ribbons to fences in Ballarat and beyond as a sign of support for those who had suffered abuse. I have contacted members of the LOUD Fence movement to invite them to meet with me and representatives of the cathedral parish council. This is with a view to discussing the process for the removal of the ribbons on the cathedral fence so that the maintenance work can proceed and also discussing various ways in which we can continue to support those who have suffered abuse. We look to work together to promote a safe community for everyone.
God bless you all.
Paul Bird CSsR
Bishop of the Diocese of Ballarat
Prayers for the Murphy Family
The Victorian and local media has been flooded this week with news of the unsettling disappearance of Ballarat woman, Samantha Murphy. Samantha is a parent within our Ballarat Catholic educational community. Several CEB staff have close ties with Samantha and her family, and her disappearance is distressing.
A general reflection resource for those dealing with difficulty is available in the chapel space at the Ballarat office for anyone who might like to take a few moments in reflection or prayer. For those in other offices, it is attached below for your use in a space that is meaningful to you.
CEB staff are reminded that in support of significant grief and trauma, the Employee Assistance Program is accessible to you and members of your family through Converge International. A copy of their services and contact details can be found here. It is a free and confidential 24/7 service, and the ‘family assist’ services are reported to be very helpful if you have family members who may be finding these circumstances unsettling.
As always, please speak with your team leader regarding your individual needs here at work.
World Cancer Day Event- Thank you
Staff members Jim Waight and Brendan Chalmers are very grateful for those who went along and supported the 'Jimmy's Licorice Allsorts 2024 launch and movie night on World Cancer Day.
With your amazing support the team raised $2287 for cancer research!
2024 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards
DOBCEL is proud to continue sponsoring an award aimed at continuing to recognise the outstanding service and leadership within Catholic education throughout our Diocesan school communities, and Catholic Education Office.
In 2024, the refreshed awards, align with the DOBCEL strategic priorities, which are positioned to support the DOBCEL vision “as partners in Catholic Education and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all.”
All Catholic education communities are encouraged to nominate an individual or team who consistently performs in an exemplary way. Nominees can be from a school in the Diocese of Ballarat or Catholic Education Ballarat.
Nominations can be submitted for any of the following five categories –
- Building inclusive Catholic learning communities.
- Empowering all to flourish.
- Fostering inspiring leadership.
- Achieving best practice.
- Enhancing family engagement, governance, and stewardship.
Each award category has a series of criteria based on the opportunity questions detailed in the DOBCEL Strategic Directions 2020-2024 document.
At least one award recipient will be selected, with a maximum of three awards each year. Award recipients will be presented during the Catholic Education Week Dinner. All nominees will be acknowledged in some way.
To view more information about the Spirit of Catholic Education Week Awards, please click here.
Nominations open on Wednesday 14 February 2024 and close on Friday 1 March 2024. Everyone is encouraged to get involved and nominate their colleagues.
Article submitted by Fiona Murphy.
Launch of the New CEB Workplace Giving Program
CEB have launched a new CEB Workplace Giving Program for 2024. The Workplace Giving Program aims to promote and support action in advancing the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. As part of the program we have carefully selected two agencies, who live out the principles of Catholic social teaching which were the focus of our last two formation days held at VEMI in Macedon.
Donating to these agencies through workplace giving allows you to make regular donations through your pre-tax pay. Small contributions can have a big impact and every dollar can change lives. Participating staff can select any amount of money to contribute pre-tax from their fortnightly pay to contribute to one or both partners and can change these amounts at any time.
Click here to view the CEB Workplace Giving Program FAQs or to participate in the program complete the CEB Workplace Giving Payroll Form, which is accessible via Knowledge Banks, and submit via email to email@example.com.
Please contact Tania Lund, Staff Wellbeing & Engagement Advisor if you have any questions on the program.
Article submitted by Tania Lund.
People and Development Update
Culture Amp 2024 Goals
As the year quickly progresses it is time to ensure individual 2024 goals are captured in Culture Amp.
In 2023 goals were linked to the DOBCEL strategic objectives, and 2025 will be no different. However, while the strategic plan is being built, goals for 2024 should align to one of the below three priorities -
- Work that consolidates or builds on 2023 priorities.
This is work that is the natural next step to work undertaken in 2023. It is not a new project but is a continuation of the work or builds on work from 2023.
- Work undertaken in response to priorities identified in the risk register.
This is work being undertaken to proactively respond to priorities already identified and captured in the risk register. If you are unsure whether your goal relates to an identified risk, please check with your team leader.
- Other operational or continuous improvement activities.
This is systematic and ongoing work undertaken aimed at enhancing efficiency and productivity, of DOBCEL.
You will find these priorities loaded into Culture Amp as ‘company goals’ where you will link the relevant priority to your individual goals.
Instructions on entering and linking goals to strategic priorities can be found here.
Crucial Conversations - Feb 28 & 29 2024
- Time - 9:00-4:30
- Location - CEB office or Glowery Room, St Patrick’s Hall (location will confirmed with participants)
- Cost - $500 (inclusive of learning materials (3 x books), morning tea and lunch)
- Register here
Crucial Conversations teaches a model for effective communication, that can be applied to any situation, but particularly difficult or high-stakes situations. It focuses on fostering dialogue, managing emotions, and achieving mutual understanding. The model helps to navigate high-stakes discussions with openness, respect, and skill, enhancing relationships and driving positive outcomes.
This program is designed for anyone who would like to develop skills in providing effective feedback and fostering open dialogue. The skills can be transferred across a range of situations including providing feedback and fostering open dialogue with colleagues, parents/carers and the community. It is relevant for people working in schools as well as the CEB office.
Crucial Conversations will be run each term on the following dates -
- 28 & 29 Feb Ballarat
- 30 & 31 May Warrnambool
- 3 & 4 Sep Swan Hill or Mildura location TBC
- 12 & 13 Nov TBA
If you have any queries about the program please contact Fiona Murphy.
Early Career Teacher Days 2024
The Early Career Teacher Program is a three-year integrated program designed to support early career teacher induction into the Ballarat Diocese and the teaching profession, within the particular context of working in the ministry of Catholic education. The program reflects the partnership between DOBCEL and schools who together support the professional growth of early career teachers. Elements of the program presented through these dedicated days will complement formation opportunities initiated by the school community.
Graduate and Early Career Teacher program days will take place on the following dates throughout 2024. To encourage participation and decrease travel time for people in the north, program days in terms one and two will be run in two locations (Ballarat and Robinvale). The content on both days will be the same, and participants should only attend one day.
If you know an early career teacher, please share these dates with them!
Try booking registration links to be provided soon.
Try booking registration links to be provided soon.
Try booking registration links to be provided soon.
Individual check-ins with Early career teachers
If you have any queries about the program please contact Sarah Hanley.
Effective Mentoring Program - Calling mentor teachers!
The Effective Mentoring Program (EMP) is a free professional learning program developed and delivered in partnership with DE and VIT.
This two-day program equips participants with mentoring skills to support beginning teachers and guide them through the provisional to full registration process.
Any teacher who wishes to become a mentor for a PRT moving to full registration is able to participate in a VIT-approved mentoring program.
Two-day EMP Course
13 March 2024
24 April 2024
24 July 2024
28 August 2024
7 May 2024
26 June 2024
27 March 2024
23 May 2024
14 August 2024
18 September 2024
7 August 2024
11 September 2024
One-day EMP refresher course
Refresher courses are available for those who have completed the initial two-day training but would like to refresh their mentoring skills.
- 1 March - Melbourne
- 5 June - Melbourne
- 8 August - Melbourne
For further information and registrations please click here.
Catholic Identity and Mission Update
A prayer service will be taking place in the Ballarat office in the prayer/reflection space on Wednesday 14 February at 1.00pm. All are most welcome to attend. Ashes will be distributed at the service.
For those who are in other places that day this prayer service will be the resource we are using on the day. You might like to use and adapt it for your place.
To facilitate prayer and reflection during Lent, we have purchased the prayer resource "Living in Harmony". Click here to find out more.
Each CEB office has or in the coming days will receive copies of this resource. You are invited to organise a time to gather and pray each week during Lent that is convenient for each community.
Lenten Prayer using this resource will take place every Friday morning at 8.30am in the prayer/reflection space in the Ballarat office all are most welcome to attend. The first gathering will commence on Friday 16 February.
Articles submitted by Jim Waight.
Social Justice Update - Integral Ecology
In Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls us to undergo an ecological conversion. But what is an ecological conversion?
The Laudato Si' Movement defines ecological conversion as the "transformation of hearts and minds toward greater love of God, each other, and creation. It is a process of acknowledging our contribution to the social and ecological crisis and acting in ways that nurture communion: healing and renewing our common home."
In order to best understand this term, we must first understand what integral ecology is. Check out this video - What is Integral Ecology
"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28).
Throughout human history, the term "dominion" in the creation story has often been misinterpreted as granting people the authority to do whatever they wish to do to the natural world, completely disregarding the sacred quality in the ongoing creation. This human action of controlling nature is the root cause for the destruction of our natural world. Rather, as many modern theologians explain, to have 'dominion' over is more accurately read as a call to active co-custodianship, where we humans are given responsibility of taking care of what belongs to God . As Thomas Berry writes, "humans are members of 'The Earth Community', not lords over it."
What is an ecological conversion?
by Jonathon Braden | Jun 24, 2021
History of ecological conversion in Catholic Church
Ecological conversion was first used in the Catholic Church by St. John Paul II during his papacy on 17 January 2001.
St. John Paul II noted that man and woman were made in the "image of God" and were told by God, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). But he pointed out that the relationship is not "absolute, but ministerial." He highlighted how "humanity has disappointed God’s expectations" by devastating plains and valleys, polluting water and air, and disfiguring the Earth’s habitat.
"We must therefore encourage and support the ‘ecological conversion’ which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading," St. John Paul II said.
Furthermore, he highlighted the goals of such a conversion, including returning to the right relationships between humans, God and the world, and living by them.
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis echoes St. John Paul II. His Holiness identifies our current ecological crisis as a "summons to profound interior conversion." What everyone needs, he writes, is an "‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them" (LS 217).
But what is an ecological conversion?
In his book The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si', Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, Head of the Vatican’s Ecological and Creation Office, writes that an "ecological conversion calls for a return to the Creator," a turning to God in the humble and genuine spirit of repentance, acknowledging God as the Creator and source of all things, and repairing the broken relationship with God and each other.
Fr. Kureethadam also writes that an "ecological conversion calls for a 'turning' to the creation itself" as caring and responsible stewards.
Why undergo an ecological conversion?
In Laudato Si’ (220), Pope Francis shares the attitudes and changes within ourselves that can result from undergoing an ecological conversion:
- gratitude and gratuitousness (recognition that the world is God’s loving gift)
- generosity in self-sacrifice and good works
- a loving awareness of a universal communion with the rest of creation
- greater creativity and enthusiasm in resolving the world’s problems
- a feeling of responsibility based on faith
Article submitted by Sarah Page.
Lost and Found - Ballarat Office
There is a labelled drawer in the reception area for lost items that have been handed in.
If you think you have misplaced something, even if it's not listed below, please check with reception.
Current items include:
- Logitech wireless presenter
- Silver hoop earring
- Reading glasses
- 2 travel/neck pillows
Barefoot Bowls Social Evening
Our first Social Gathering for the year has been organised. An evening of barefoot bowls, drinks and a few laughs.
Details are as follows:
- Date: Tuesday 27 February
- Time: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
- Venue: Central Wendouree Bowling Club, 1330 Gregory Street, Ballarat, VIC. 3350
- Cost: $10 per head payable on the night to cover the bowling.
- Drinks can be purchased from the bar.
- BYO snacks to share.
RSVP: To gauge the level of interest, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Article submitted by Ange Van Berkel.