DOBCEL Board Update #1 - 6 May 2021
Message from the Chair, Ms Tracey O’Neill
The transfer of governance of parish schools to Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited (DOBCEL) has resulted in changes in the formulation and promulgation of policies across diocesan schools. While in the long term it is anticipated that the uniformity necessitated in policy development will result in a significant lessening of the burden for school leadership, it is acknowledged that this period of transition has necessitated an increase in workload.
The DOBCEL Board recognises the demands this has put onto school administration and appreciates the efforts of many members of school communities to meet these requirements in the first half of the year.
At this special time set aside to honour mothers and other women who nurture children, we pray for each one of them. May each mother in our community be granted a special blessing - that the work of her hands show the love she has for the children and young people in her care, that her example be a guiding force in their lives and that her wisdom be passed to the next generation of those who nurture our children. May those mothers who are no longer with us be remembered with fondness and live on as a positive influence in our lives.
Summary of the DOBCEL Board Meeting held Tuesday 23 March in Hamilton
The DOBCEL Board had the pleasure of meeting in the impressive new Cricket Pavilion at Monivae College. The Pavilion, Chevalier Indoor Cricket Centre and the oval upgrade were part of a major project completed in 2020.
DOBCEL Board Directors visited the following schools on the way to Hamilton; All Saints Portland, St Malachy’s Edenhope, Sacred Heart Casterton, St Joseph’s Coleraine, St Joseph’s Penshurst and St Mary’s Hamilton.
Hamilton network Principals and School Advisory Council members joined the board for dinner and took the opportunity to discuss the role out and implementation of the DOBCEL Policies.
Ms Sandra George, a Risk Consultant with Catholic Church Insurance provided a workshop on Risk Management within our organisation. The Board will consider the development of risk appetite statements which will assist with managing accurate risk ratings.
Julie Duynhoven presented the updated Risk Register and Hazard Incident Reporting Tool which will be rolled out to schools in coming weeks.
The Executive Director’s report included:
- A progress report on the recently acquired Gillies Street building which Ballarat based CEB Staff hope to move into in July-August this year.
- School visits have been an excellent way of getting to know principals and school communities and understanding what individual school priorities may be to assist in decision-making.
- Gender Dysphoria issues – Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) will release a statement later in the year. Catholic Education Ballarat is seeking and obtaining support from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) for current students. Other resources are being explored.
The following Policies and Procedures were presented to the board for consultation and recommendation for ratification by Bishop Paul:
- DOBCEL Anti-Slavery Policy and Procedures
- DOBCEL Procurement and Purchasing Policy and Procedures
- DOBCEL Celebrating Outstanding Service and Leadership Policy
Summary of the DOBCEL Board Meeting held Tuesday 22 April by Video
John Meneely informed the Board that Consent Education in schools has received media attention lately following Minister Merlino’s announcement that from Term 2 this year the teaching of consent will be mandatory in all government schools.
John reiterated that Catholic anthropology underpins respectful relationships across the curriculum. Programs and initiatives we have in place already incorporate consent education and additional work will provide further background for teachers.
Risk Management was again on the agenda. Julie Duynhoven elaborated on the DOBCEL Risk Management Overview Policy and Procedures and the HINT dashboard.
Tim O’Farrell, Safeguarding and Standards Manager reported on Child Safety in Schools. Tim explained that CEB and Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) use Polonious as the preferred reporting platform. Polonious is a company established in Australia to provide a secure way of managing and recording information. Tim monitors and addresses complaints and explained that most cases are directed back to school level for resolution where it is appropriate to do so.
Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited