Program supports development for women in Catholic education

21 March 2019

Catholic Education Western Australia is supporting the development of the many women who enable the learning of young people through a new leadership program.

The Women in Catholic Education program began at the beginning of 2019, with the aim of helping female staff across the system achieve personal, professional and leadership improvement.

The program, which is open to teaching and administrative staff, aligns with the CECWA Strategic Directions 2019-2021, with a clear focus on inspiring Christ-centred leaders, supporting Catholic schools of excellence and fostering Catholic pastoral communities. One of four workshops held this year is focused specifically on supporting women in CEWA in their formation as Christ-centred leaders.

CEWA Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce speaks at an International Women’s Day breakfast at The University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle on 8 March 2019.

CEWA Leadership Consultant Nancy Bonfiglio-Pavisich, who is coordinating the program, said that CEWA is striving to offer leadership development opportunities for all employees, and a key feature of this new program was the focus on women supporting women.

“This program will support women sharing learnings and wisdom on topics including navigating responsibilities, work-life balance, organisational management, dealing with conflict, and communication,” she said.

The program provides opportunities for mentoring, networking, and discovering resources, and already has 162 participants enrolled, with room for more to join throughout the year.

Dr Katy Tindall from the Australian Institute of Management will be running two workshops as part of the program, which will also include a two-day retreat with the Catholic Institute of Western Australia at the St John of God Retreat Centre in Safety Bay, and a suite of resources.

“The Women in Catholic Education program is about helping women working in our system to define what personal and professional success is for them, as well as in the context of our Catholic values and our strategic directions,” Ms Bonfiglio-Pavisich said.

CEWA Executive Director, Dr Debra Sayce, said that the program would help achieve equality and equity for women working in Catholic education.

“In our context, as women living and working in a developed nation, many of us still feel and experience limitations in our capacity to be the people we are called to be,” she said.

“We are challenged particularly as Christian people who seek equity and service to the common good. A strong part of our Christian message is that justice means respecting the dignity and value of all people, and in this we want to further equality and equity for women in our Catholic education communities.”

For more information on the Women in Catholic Education program, email, or search for the course on the CEWA Professional Learning Portal.

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