The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC or the Commission) is the official body charged by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference with developing, advising, enunciating and acting upon policy at the national level for the Church’s work in education. The NCEC is directly responsible to the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education. The NCEC is the focal point for ongoing discussions and negotiations with the Australian Government and other national bodies involved in education. The Commission is also a national forum for discussions and debate on significant matters of interest and concern to Catholic education in Australia. Responsibilities include:
- contributing to the national education policy debate;
- liaison with the Australian Government and other key national educational bodies;
- monitoring trends in educational theory and practice in Australia and overseas;
- consulting, complementing and working with Catholic education in each state and territory;
- identifying and disseminating data relevant to Catholic education;
- monitoring developments in faith formation and religious education; and
- monitoring research in Catholic education.
The Commission was established in 1974 in response to the greatly increased activity of the Australian Government in school education policy and funding from the early 1970s, and to reflect the Bishops’ wish for a national Catholic education policy forum at which the recently-established State and Territory Catholic Education Commissions could contribute more effectively to the national schooling debate.
NCEC complements and supports at the national level the work of the State and Territory Catholic Education Commissions and seeks to build policy consensus among State and Territory Catholic education authorities, maintaining effective liaison with the Australian Government and its agencies, and advising the Bishops Conference.
One in five Australian children now attends a Catholic school. How Catholic schools conduct themselves, how they are funded, and how they pursue the highest ideals in terms of curriculum and pastoral care is therefore of profound significance for Australian society.
The NCEC budget is raised principally from a levy on every student in an Australian Catholic school.
The NCEC office is located in central Sydney: Level 3, 156 Gloucester Street.
Structure and Governance
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) is responsible to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) through the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE). Members of the BCCE are:
- Most Rev. Tim Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth – Chairman
- Most Rev. Mark Edwards OMI, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne
- Most Rev. Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore
- Most Rev. Gregory O’Kelly SJ, AM, Bishop of Port Pirie
Future Directions and Key Drivers
The NCEC Strategic Plan provides a focus for the Commission’s work. Its focus areas have been and will continue to be:
- Catholic mission and identity
- Australian Government funding and regulation
- Excellent and equitable Catholic schooling
- Outstanding service delivery to stakeholders.
A major focus of the NCEC’s work is the ongoing engagement with the Commonwealth with respect to the funding of Catholic schools and its reviews into the provision of education in Australia. In this task the NCEC Executive Director is supported by the NCEC Secretariat, NCEC Commissioners and NCEC Working parties. It is also important to maintain close contact with state and territory authorities as discussions progress.
Other current areas of priority for the NCEC include:
- The accountabilities and reporting of Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) for Students With Disabilities.
- Provision of financial data to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
- Analysing historical, current and future Catholic education enrolment trends.
- Monitoring the national debate and inquiries on key topics such as Religious freedom, Anti-discrimination legislation, Rural and Remote Education, and the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools
- Anti-discrimination legislation
- Funding and Regulation – the Australian Government’s education reform initiatives.
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – post the Royal Commission the NCEC will liaise in relation to issues related to Catholic education.
For more information on the NCEC please visit www.ncec.catholic.edu.au.
The oversight of Catholic education in Australia is ultimately the responsibility of the bishops. This responsibility is exercised at the local level by each bishop in his diocese, and at the national level by the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE) whose members are elected by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).
The Executive Director is appointed by the Chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE). The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the National Catholic Education Commission and is the key spokesperson for and representative of the NCEC.
The Executive Director provides national leadership to the NCEC and the NCEC Secretariat and is responsible for strategically positioning and promoting the principal works of NCEC with regard to the educational mission of the Church in Australian Catholic schools and Catholic school systems.
The Executive Director leads administrative, policy research, advocacy and communication functions for NCEC, and plays a critical role in forging key relationships with the Australian Government, its agencies and other external bodies as well as internal groups and commissions within the Catholic Church and Catholic Education.
Facilitating a national understanding of the nature and mission of Catholic schools and their entitlement to substantial public funding through strategic leadership and the development of constructive relations with various parties is a key area of focus for the Executive Director. The Executive Director also leads the strategy and culture of the NCEC Secretariat and is charged with the responsibility of leading a team to deliver to the strategic priorities of NCEC, in line with the vision, values and teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Executive Director also holds the position of Executive Secretary of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE) and in this capacity is a member of forums convened by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) including the ACBC General Forum and ACBC Executive Forum. The Executive Director is a key adviser to the BCCE and works closely with the Chair of the BCCE to progress matters relevant to the mandate of the BCCE and tend to the relationship between the NCEC and BCCE and other ACBC agencies.
In addition to the Executive Director, the NCEC Secretariat is comprised of:
- Manager Governance and Corporate Services
- Senior Education Officer – Faith Formation and Religious Education
- Policy Advisor
- Senior Data and Policy Analyst
- Executive Assistant
- Administration and Events Officer
- Media Officer
Responsibilities and Accountabilities
1. Strategy Development and Delivery
- Shape the strategic direction for NCEC
- Oversee and execute on the strategic priorities of the Secretariat.
2. External Relationships, Advocacy & Funding
- Represent the NCEC to government and other external parties, to promote the works of Catholic Education and the Commission;
- Develop key external relationships across government and other peak bodies & organisations and facilitate a national understanding of the nature and mission of Catholic Schools, and secure sustainable funding.
3. Education Policy Leadership
- Lead NCEC’s mission to provide national educational policy leadership through monitoring commissioning and supporting policy research and developments, as well as promoting and negotiating on policy positions.
4. Catholic Education Relationships
- Lead relationships and networks across dioceses, religious institutes and education commissions to ensure a collegiate approach to policy, developments and issues related to education in Catholic schools.
5. Leadership and Culture
- Provide leadership to the team to develop the capabilities and culture necessary to achieve NCEC’s strategic objectives and play a key leadership role in the broader Catholic and education community
6. Commission Processes, Governance & Secretariat Operations
- Lead and oversee the operations of the NCEC Secretariat;
- Embed and implement processes that will provide high quality support for the commission across key priority areas.
We invite expressions of interest from people who align with the following:
- Have an understanding of and strongly demonstrated commitment to the Catholic Church.
- Extensive senior level exposure to the education sector, especially Catholic education.
- Superior ability to build networks and effective relationships with a diversity of complex stakeholders/groups within a sensitive political environment.
- Thorough understanding of how government operates.
- Experience leading a diverse team and inspiring outcomes through others.
- Sophisticated and professional communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Confidence to represent the work and values of the NCEC to all relevant media and other public events in a professional manner.
- Tertiary qualifications including postgraduate qualifications.
Remuneration and Contract Period
- A remuneration package reflecting the seniority of the position and the level of skill and experience brought to the role will be negotiated with the successful candidate.
- While negotiable, it is anticipated the initial contract will be for 5 years.
- This role will be based in Sydney and so a relocation allowance may be provided to assist an executive relocate to Sydney.
Are you Interested in this Opportunity?
If you are interested in this role, then simply complete the ‘Express Your Interest’ panel on this page; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your interest and nominating ref number TS1375. Whichever you choose, please provide a brief resume and contact telephone number.
At this stage we do NOT ask you to address the selection criteria or provide an application document – just complete the panel on this page or send a brief email to Trak Search to indicate your interest in ‘NCEC Ref TS1375’; and provide your brief resume and contact telephone number.
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Any questions can be directed to either (a) our Director John Chesher by telephone (0417 068 220) or (b) email our office via email@example.com. The timeline and details for this project are outlined below. All emails and applications are acknowledged within 48 hours
The Selection Process
Key dates are as follows:
|Date of project launch/advertising
|Fri 13/Sat 14 April
|Latest anticipated date for applications
|Mon 30 April
|Review meeting & short listing
|Week commencing Mon 14 May
|Anticipated date for client interviews
|Week of Monday 21 or 28 May
|Final references; academic documents obtained
|Following client interviews
|Follow up meeting/discussion
|Likely within 7 days of client interviews
Trak Search has been instructed to provide a process that is welcoming for people interested in this role. Significant aspects include:
- Throughout the process, Trak Search is available for confidential discussions and to provide information to allow you to explore this opportunity and determine your interest in the role.
- A range of additional information will be provided to you as we progress through this process.
- At the outset you will not be required to: complete an application form; provide a lengthy document to address the selection criteria; or supply referee details. However, you will be invited to supply us with additional information (verbally and in writing) as you progress through the process.
- A late application could be accepted, providing it does not adversely impact other applications or the schedule. Please be aware however that any application received after close of business on the date noted above is more likely to be returned to you.
- At the appropriate time we will seek written consent to speak with referees – listing referees on your resume does not signify consent to do so.
- We expect to contact one work-related referee and a Priest as referee prior to shortlisting, with additional references completed later in the process. You should always expect that before reaching the final stage of the project, we will ask to speak with at least one person who has: directly managed you; recently; and for a significant period of time.
- All information provided to Trak Search will be made available prior to shortlisting, in confidence, to the NCEC Chair (or nominee) unless you instruct Trak Search otherwise.
You are also encouraged to view our Collection Statement which provides details on the manner in which we collect and use information obtained from you during your engagement with Trak Search.