Leaders’ Forum hits the road for WA tour

Leaders’ Forum, a biannual event that brings together CEWA principals and school leadership teams from across the State, is on the road for the first time for a series of smaller local events in response to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Approximately 500 delegates are joining the semester two Leaders’ Forum Roadshow through July and August, with meetings held at host CEWA schools and local venues across all four WA dioceses. 

Ten Forum events in total are being held, looking at the ongoing development of CEWA’s Quality Catholic Education (QCE) improvement framework through the lenses of teaching and learning during the coronavirus pandemic, policy and governance, and school improvement. 

The first Roadshow stop was held in Kalgoorlie last week, with school leadership staff from the Goldfields and Wheatbelt regions, as well as Esperance, joining CEWA system leaders for a morning of discussion at St Joseph’s School in Boulder. 

Photos: The first event in the 2020 Leaders’ Forum Roadshow was held at St Joseph’s School in Boulder

All CEWA principals were also invited to an online launch meeting for the Roadshow, including a Welcome to Country with Whadjuk-Yuet-Ballardong artist (and former CEWA Aboriginal Teaching Assistant) Kevin Bynder, and messages from Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe and CEWA Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce. 

Archbishop Costelloe encouraged those on the call to always uphold their faith, despite obstacles and pressures that may arise.  

Quoting the words of Pope Francis from a speech he delivered in 2015, Archbishop Costelloe said “We are not living an era of change but a change of era.” 

The contribution of parents, families, teachers and school staff, Archbishop Costelloe continued, should always be centred on our Catholic Identity, which is sometimes tolerated and at times even resented in today’s increasingly secular society.  

He went on to say that with increased pressure from government, parents and society, despite widespread rejection of Catholic values, there was an expectation of a better standard of leadership and engagement because of the Gospel focus of Catholic education 

“All the above leads to a need for physical, emotional, spiritual self-care and without a solid spiritual foundation, trying to live according to Gospel principles would be exhausting.” 

Dr Sayce said she was optimistic the roadshow format would bring a new vibrancy to the Leaders’ Forum. 

“There have been challenges, particularly in figuring out the logistics of this format, but I hope that holding a series of local events for the Forum will help us, as Catholic education leaders, to approach these meetings with fresh perspectives, 

“As CEWA Principals, you lead communities of learning and faith that are a central feature in the lives of thousands of families across the State… we have an appreciation of our unique purpose and mission – to inspire students, staff and our community to actively live the Gospel through our Christ-centred, child-focussed approach to education,” Dr Sayce said. 

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