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Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) began its governance responsibilities for parish and diocesan schools in the Archdiocese on 1 January 2021 when 290 schools transferred to MACS.

Factors leading to the change

A number of factors have led to the change in governance arrangements. These include recommendations that have been made from a Royal Commission and a Parliamentary Inquiry. Just as importantly, the new governance arrangements safeguard and strengthen the catholicity of our schools into the future.

With legislative and compliance requirements rapidly becoming more complex for our schools, an unincorporated governance model based on one person was no longer viable. The new governance model seeks both to ease the administrative burden on our schools and parishes, and to allow the parish priest to focus on the mission of education in the parish.

While the governance model will change administrative and legal aspects of the relationship between parish and school, they continue to be partners in the faith development of students. The connection between parish and school enables our young people to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments: the ‘source and summit’ of our Christian lives. Life-giving relationships between parishes and their schools lie at the heart of an educational experience that is truly Catholic.

Following an extensive consultation process and recommendations from the School Governance Steering Committee formed to look into education governance, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli established MACS to assume the governance and operation of Catholic schools, and appointed Gerard Dalbosco as the inaugural Chair of the company.

Other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese not governed by MACS

The governance arrangements for the 39 schools in the Archdiocese that are congregational and ministerial public juridic person (PJP) schools have not changed. MACS continues to work in partnership with and offer services and support to other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese that are not governed by MACS, as it did previously as Catholic Education Melbourne.

The operations and relationships with all Victorian Catholic systemic schools continue through the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV).