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Stephen Bullivant, left, Leonardo Franchi and Fr Eamonn Conway during a panel discussion at the Formation as the Foundation conference (UNDA)

The University of Notre Dame Australia and Catholic Education Western Australia joined forces to host the “Formation as the Foundation” conference, exploring the pivotal role of formation in Catholic education. 

Held on UNDA’s Fremantle campus on July 2-3, the event challenged participants to navigate the complexities of education and explore the fundamental importance of formation as a bedrock for future success. 

By recentering the human person in Catholic education, attendees were called to find the courage to address the challenges ahead. 

Keynote speakers at the conference included UNDA professors Leonardo Franchi, Fr Eamonn Conway and Stephen Bullivant. Each speaker brought their unique perspective and reflections on the conference’s theme, enriching the participants’ learning experience. 

CEWA executive director, Debra Sayce said: “As Catholic educators, we are tasked not only with developing life-long learners but in supporting students to come to know Jesus Christ and inspiring all in our school communities to actively live the Gospel. 

“To ensure we as educators are serving that mission fully, it is important for all of us, no matter what stage of our journey, to commit to ongoing faith formation and to ongoing learning. It was a privilege to welcome speakers of such a high calibre to Western Australia and to share in their expertise to help as we broaden our knowledge and understanding,” Dr Sayce said. 

Christine Robinson, UNDA’s associate dean of research, said the Formation as the Foundation conference “was a true representation of the partnership that exists between UNDA and CEWA”.

“Our speakers re-emphasised the centrality of the Christian human person within Catholic Education and the conference provided a dialogue among Catholic educators that was heart to heart, calling us to find courage in our vocation,” Associate Professor Robinson said.


Formation as the Foundation Seminar (UNDA)