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Participants in Marist Schools Australia’s annual assistant principals conference (Marist Schools Australia)

Assistant principals from Marist Schools Australia gathered in Mittagong, New South Wales, last week for their annual conference, reflecting on “Leadership in a Synodal Church”.

The conference was facilitated by Marist Schools Australia national director Dr Frank Malloy and participants heard from Australian Catholic University honorary Professor Charles Burford, MSA board member Elizabeth Denny, Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord DD, Australian National University emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO and MSA regional director Dr John Kyle-Robinson

Speaking of the hallmarks of leadership for synodality, Professor Burford encouraged the conference participants to prioritise their mission-oriented spirit of service characterised by shared decision-making and a culture of inclusion, dialogue and mutual listening that is always open to conversion. 

These themes were echoed in Bishop Mascord’s encouragement for Catholic school leaders to “accompany and stand alongside young people” as an expression of the Church.

The rich and thought-provoking input provided the opportunity for conference participants to reflect on the influence and nature of their leadership in Catholic education, in the context of what Pope Francis describes as a synodal Church.

Listening, dialogue, and prayerful discernment were consistent themes throughout the days together as this group of committed and creative Catholic leaders inspired one another in their shared passion for God’s mission and Church.


Marist Schools Australia Assistant Principals’ Conference Leadership in a Synodal Church (Marist Schools Australia)