DOBCEL Board Update #4 - 5 Nov 2021
From the Chair
On behalf of the Board, I again express our gratitude for all of the ongoing hard work, dedication and flexibility of our school staff and Catholic Education staff in dealing with the complexity brought about by COVID-19 and now the mandatory vaccinations.
We are disappointed that we have not been able to travel to the regions and visit schools very much this year but we hope to be able to travel next year and we look forward to thanking you personally then. Irrespective of whether we visit schools in person or not, school communities are always at the centre of everything we do and every decision that the Board makes.
I think in these difficult times we can all take some advice from St Mary MacKillop, whose words to her sisters were recalled in the opening session of the Plenary Council: ‘Let us move forward being calm and full of hope.’
Recently the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia was held online. The topics of discussion are very relevant to our school communities: considering the place of Indigenous Australians in the church and in society, reflecting on church renewal, governance, ministries, faith formation for families and young people, parish organisation, and social services. Each group was asked to develop a concrete proposal for improving church life.
Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited
From our recent Board meeting
Rachel Smith, Education Officer: Social Justice
Rachel joined the meeting to share the intention of the statement: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ‘Responding to the Cry of the Earth’ and Laudato Si, which is to provide a theological foundation to inspire effective action. The statement calls us all to respond with shared wisdom and knowledge towards ecological conversion.
Rachel encourages everyone to reflect on the Laudato Si action goals and consider what responses may be possible. Further information can be found here.
The Board will review the Laudato Si action goals and consider how and what it can do to achieve these goals.
Kate Lawry, Leader: Catholic Identity and Mission (Interim) & Senior Officer: RE and
Jim Waight, Education Officer: Formation and Mission
Kate and Jim presented an informative session on Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI), Formation and Mission. The presentation touched on professional development formation opportunities for early career teachers, identification of formation needs and development of resources and the Awakenings curriculum. Catholic Identity, culture and community are key elements of the Board’s obligations to Bishop Paul and to our school communities. This session assisted the Board in its review of the current committee structure and how to ensure that the Board is receiving the information it needs and whether the Board can do anything further to support this important work.
Gina Bernasconi, Education Officer: ECSI
Gina spoke to the board in regard to ECSI, including background information about ECSI, an overview of the ECSI survey instruments, and CEB’s advice and support to schools to understand their ECSI data. Given the importance of the ECSI data to monitoring Catholicity in our schools, this was an important session for the Board.
Marita Wright, Governance, Risk & Compliance Consultant
Marita worked with the Board to discern a way forward for the Audit, Risk and Finance Standing Committee. Discussion centred on the Board’s awareness of critical risks that are rated high and appropriate controls for these risks, the line of sight to and from schools and CEB, and new and emerging risks. The Board are continuing to work with Marita in ensuring that our committee structure provides key information and data with respect to risk to the Board to ensure that the Board’s decision making manages risk appropriately.
For more information
If there is something that DOBCEL can assist you with understanding better, please contact the Executive Officer, Janine Hillman, on firstname.lastname@example.org.