2022 National Catholic Education Conference - The Future is Listening

The National Catholic Education Conference 2022 was held from  4-7 September 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

It was the first time in six years that Catholic educators have been able to attend a national gathering and nearly 1,500 delegates attended the conference in Melbourne or virtually. There was a great diversity of topics and sessions from our speakers and presenters which made a very rich and thought-provoking three days.

We were honoured to have the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare MP and Victorian Minister for Education, Natalie Hutchins MP, address delegates. 

Fr Anthony Gittins CSSp PhD, Emeritus Professor of Theology and Culture, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, joined Madeline Forde, Australian representative, International Youth Advisory Body, Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in giving the opening address, focused on the theme of the conference, The Future is Listening.

Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP explored the ingredients of a successful Catholic education in a very entertaining cooking segment called, Recipe for Success, with student Lucas and teacher Richard McGuire from Catholic Regional College, Sydenham.

Dr Jordan Nguyen filled us with inspiration about the possibilities for the future, and five students from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools joined him in a candid discussion on learning, teaching and the digital age. 

The Eucharistic celebration with Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli, delegates and students was a powerful reflection of our faith, followed by a memorable Pilgrimage Walk from St Patrick's Cathedral back to the convention centre.

Other highlights included Andreas Schleicher, OECD secretary-general, Programme for International Student Assessment, who presented virtually on the future of education, and educational experts, Dr Simon Breakspear and Dr Peter Ellerton, who focused on supporting school and system change, curriculum and pedagogy. 

Former Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Robert Fitzgerald AM, delivered a powerful keynote address reminding us that it is everyone's responsibility to safeguard vulnerable people.

In a thought-provoking closing address, mental health and wellbeing expert Professor Donna Cross told us that protecting and promoting wellbeing in students has never been more important.

Australian broadcaster Geraldine Doogue AO was the Master of Ceremonies for the conference and moderated a number of In Conversation panel sessions on Catholic identity, school improvement, teacher workforce and governance with educators, academics, leaders and parents. 

Catholic education on a global stage was the focus of a panel discussion moderated by Emeritus Professor Greg Craven AO with Durham University's Dr Medi Ann Volpe, Scottish Catholic Education Service director, Barbara Coupar, and secretary general of the International Office of Catholic Education, Philippe Richard.

There were over 60 sessions from educators, leaders, parents, academics and staff from across the country which provided a great depth and breadth of experience and expertise. 

More than 300 students, teachers and parents from 54 schools from across Australia represented at the STEM MAD national showcase, with plenty of student musical performances and student helpers throughout the conference.

Thank you to our sponsors

A conference of this calibre would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and exhibitors. These include our Principal Partner, UniSuper / Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, Platinum Sponsors Australian Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame Australia; and our Media Partner Australian Catholics. We encourage you to support these organisations that supported the delivery of the conference.

Conference photos

We also have a large library of photos taken during the conference via this link.

If you would like to republish any of these across your platforms or publications we ask that you credit NCEC/The School Photographer.

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