From 2-3 March 2019, Yarra Theological Union will host a weekend conference to explore principles and practice for Church Governance.
At the 2018 Catholic Social Services conference in Melbourne, Elizabeth Proust AO, Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, spoke about “a tsunami of change” facing those in governance roles of Catholic agencies and other not-for-profit providers. The challenges include service provision regulations, requirements relating to charitable status, organisational size, financial viability and sustainability, changing government funding models, mergers and amalgamations, the competitive fundraising environment, and the increasing professionalisation of boards.
In this climate, it is critical that those in or preparing for the governance of Catholic entities undertake professional learning in support of their roles. Importantly, besides their corporate accountability, they are accountable for the mission of their Church entity. They need to be qualified to take responsibility for both the civic and canonical aspects of their role.
Further, effective governance in the Catholic sector must be underpinned by a responsiveness to the “signs of the times” to ensure that Church ministries are developed and adapted to meet the needs of the contemporary Church and society. Those governing the ministries must ensure not only that the facilities for which they have responsibility exemplify contemporary best practice but also that they remain ministries of the Church.
The conference, Principles and Practice for Church Governance, is targeted at those in or preparing for Church governance roles. It will increase participants’ understanding of good governance principles and the accountabilities of both civil and canon law.
This Conference will include:
- The nature of good governance
- Increase your understanding of the governance principles that underpin your professional responsibilities
- The relationship between civil and canon law, between church and state
- Role of law in Catholic organisations
- Canonical, moral and cultural responsibilities of those in leadership within the Catholic Church
- Public Juridic Persons
- Working with the diocesan bishop
- Accountability and transparency
Professor Gabrielle McMullen AM FRACI is a member of the University of Divinity Council.
Following postdoctoral research in Germany, Professor McMullen joined the Department of Biochemistry at Monash University and also became Dean of its Catholic residence, Mannix College, in 1981. She was then Rector of Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Ballarat campus from 1995-2000 and its Pro- and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) until February 2011. In July 2011 she was appointed a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, which was established by Sisters of Charity of Australia in 2009 to continue their health and aged care, education and social service ministries.
Professor McMullen is also a member of the Council of the Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Her other community contributions have encompassed membership of education, health, theological and social services boards. A member of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research, her personal research interests include Catholic identity and mission, and the history of science.