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Diarmuid O’Riordan (Catholic Education Cairns)

Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cairns will have a new leader in 2025, with Diarmuid O’Riordan selected to take over from Bill Dixon who will retire in December.

Mr O’Riordan is no stranger to Cairns, having served as deputy executive director of Catholic Education in the diocese 2014 to 2016. He is currently deputy executive director of Brisbane Catholic Education.

Cairns Diocese administrator Fr Kerry Crowley said the position attracted a large number of experienced applicants.

“The selection panel was very impressed with the quality of the applicants and believes that Diarmuid O’Riordan is the right person to continue the growth and development of our Catholic schools in Far North Queensland,” Fr Crowley said.

“Diarmuid has built his career in Catholic education, with more than 20 years of experience as an educational leader, including being principal of three large schools and working as a successful leader in school systems.

“I’m certain that he will provide strong, dedicated and caring leadership to our schools and offices,” he said.

Mr O’Riordan said he was looking forward to returning to Cairns and to building on the great work being done in the diocese’s 30 schools, which educate more than 12,000 students from Tully in the south to Waiben (Thursday Island) in the north.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge and a great privilege and responsibility in delivering a world class education for our students across Far North Queensland,” Mr O’Riordan said.

“My wife Jacqueline and I loved living in Cairns and we’re eagerly looking forward to returning.

“It’s a great place, with great people and I’m determined to provide the best leadership and support possible to our students and staff.” 


New Catholic Education Executive Director announced (Catholic Education Cairns)