Celebrating women in Catholic education

Home > News and Events > 2024 > March > Celebrating women in Catholic education

8 March 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) is an important opportunity to recognise and reflect on the remarkable women and female leaders in our lives, including those in our Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) offices and schools. The theme for IWD 2024 is ‘Inspire Inclusion’.

‘Over half of our principals [150] and over 13,000 of our 17,000 colleagues are women. I want to take today as an opportunity to celebrate and express gratitude for the extraordinary work that they do’, said MACS Executive Director, Dr Edward Simons.

Staff at the IWD Leadership Breakfast

On Wednesday, MACS hosted the IWD Leadership Breakfast to acknowledge the role of women in leadership in Catholic education. At the event, the Women in Leadership Research Project Report, and the Women in Leadership Faith, Hope and Love Network were launched.

Attendees at the IWD Leadership Breakfast

Implementing the 10 recommendations in the report ‘will benefit all leaders, not just women. This will encourage and sustain greater diversity, and an abundance of high-quality leaders in Catholic education into the future’ (Women in Leadership Research Project Report, p. 23).

Keynote speaker, Patricia Faulkner AO, challenged attendees to consider the key social issues that currently challenge women in leadership, and to be inspired to take action to lead for a bold and transformational future that recognises and engages women in educational leadership.

Louisa Rennie at the IWD Leadership Breakfast

The Great Women of Faith exhibition, with 24 pop-art portraits by Cologne-based artist Barbara Skorupa, is on display at St Patrick’s Cathedral until Sunday 10 March. The exhibition, proudly sponsored by MACS, features the faces of women from around the world who have lived lives of faith and made contributions in the areas of medicine, health and education.

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli launched the exhibition on Friday 1 March at Australian Catholic University’s Cathedral Hall. The women featured in the exhibition were proudly represented, with many of those in attendance from the religious orders and organisations they set up.

Archbishop Peter at the exhibition launch
Great Women of Faith opening (photo credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)