CCER hosts A Very Catholic Debate
Members of CCER’s four standing committees, which represent Catholic Independent Schools, Systemic Schools, Social Services, Parishes, Dioceses and Religious Institutes across NSW and the ACT, today met for A Very Catholic Debate at the Museum of Sydney.
The annual event, which provides an opportunity for sector representatives to meet and discuss key issues impacting contemporary Catholic workplaces, also welcomed special guests Anne Henderson, Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute and Amanda Tattersall, Coalition Director at Sydney Alliance to lend their opinions to the debate.
Patrick Lindsay, journalist and event moderator, opened with a discussion around change – a key leadership issue for today’s workplaces. Representatives discussed how Church organisations are adapting to a changing world, particularly in the education sector, in the face of challenges such as reduced funding, the transformational nature of technology and changing community expectations.
The panel discussed what it means to be a leader of learning communities in today’s educational environment, how the narrative around the nature of teaching is changing, and the importance of setting a framework based around core values of an organisation before embarking on a change program.
The questions were raised; has history always shown human nature to be adverse to change, or is our world changing at a more rapid pace than ever before?
The place of Catholic Healthcare in meeting the needs of Australians from a range of socio-economic backgrounds was also hotly debated, particularly in the context of a shift towards an increasing demand for aged care services.
Discussion around flexible workplaces also entered the arena, specifically, how we work within the context of traditional industrial instruments which are being eclipsed by the priorities and practices of our emerging workforces. In one of the hardest working nations in the world in terms of working hours, how can we ensure that the flexibility that is demanded of our staff is returned by organisations to ensure an appropriate work/life balance? As Catholic workplaces, are we under an increased moral obligation to ensure this is maintained for the benefit of family life?
Central to each topic was a reflection on how the Church can continue to engage with the community, and how Catholic organisations might work creatively to ensure mission is fulfilled in innovative ways that reflect the needs of our changing society.
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