Iona educator representing Archdiocese of Perth on Plenary Council

Gemma Thomson, Dean of Mission and Catholic Identity at Iona Presentation College, is one of the council members who is representing the Archdiocese of Perth in the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, which was formally convoked on Pentecost Sunday. 

The first Assembly of the Council is scheduled for October, but a great deal of early work in the Plenary Council process has already been done in the first two phases of ‘Listening and Dialogue’ and ‘Listening and Discernment’. 

Miss Thomson recently spoke with the Archdiocese of Perth’s Record about the opportunities the Plenary Council presented for the Church in Australia.

Miss Thomson said that she felt humbled and privileged to be representing the Archdiocese as a Council member. 

“As a young, lay, female educator and leader, being involved in the Plenary Council journey to date has afforded me the possibility to make connections between what is happening in the wider Church and the influence it can have on the formation of our young people and staff in Catholic schools,” she said. 

“It is vital that I have my ‘finger on the pulse’ to help discern what God is asking of us at this time, particularly regarding aspects of Catholic Identity such as evangelisation, 

“It is an honour to work in a Catholic Presentation faith community such as Iona, continuing the lantern work of Venerable Nano Nagle and our inspiring Presentation Sisters, sharing my knowledge and learning from the Plenary Council journey and walking with ‘dusty shoes’ with the forefront of a mission-focused Catholic Church,” 

Iona Principal, Ms Robyn Miller, said the College community considered itself fortunate to have Miss Thomson as part of their staff. 

“Gemma fulfills an incredibly important role as Dean of Mission and Catholic Identity, bringing the message of Jesus to life every day we come together, 

“We are most proud and in awe of Gemma and all she does in bringing the light of Christ to others. Gemma possesses a true gift for helping our staff and students live out Christ’s story in a meaningful and authentic way,” Ms Miller said. 

Ms Miller said the Plenary Council was a wonderful opportunity for all members of the Iona community to reflect upon what God is asking of them. 

“It is a true blessing to have this chance to engage with others about how our Catholic faith remains true to its teachings in a way that enables it to grow and flourish in these revolutionary and challenging times.” 

Video published shared with permission. To read more about Miss Thomson’s role on the Plenary Council, to hear from other Council members from the Archdiocese of Perth, and for up-to-date news on the Plenary Council, visit the Record. 

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