SCEA Research Trip takes in St Philip’s (Newcastle) and the CSA National Policy Forum in Canberra

A group of ten SCEA staffers travelled to St Philip’s Christian College (SPCC) in Newcastle to visit the SPCC system of schools before journeying south to Canberra for the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) National Policy Forum and Symposium.

The SPCC visit allowed the SCEA representatives to reconnect with SPCC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Graeme Irwin. A previous SCEA group visited Mr Irwin and his team in 2022, and the SPCC team has moved forward in a number of areas of development since then. The area of teacher training was discussed, along with The Saints Academy initiative and Leadership Development for after-school programs.

The Christian Schools National Policy Forum is a two-day event that allows member school representatives to hear from keynote speakers on issues affecting Christian schooling in Australia, meet with federal politicians who represent their electorates in Parliament House and network with other Christian school staff from across the country.  

Keynote speakers:
• Dr Trevor Cooling (The Future For Christian Schooling)
• Dr Lisa O’Brien AM (‘A Better and Fairer Education System’ report findings)
• Ms Kara Martin (Developing an Organisational Theological Statement)
• Dr Jenny Donovan (Engaging with the AERO Research)
• Mr John Anderson (Telling a Better Story)

SCEA representatives met with Ms Tania Lawrence MP (the Member for Hasluck), who oversees the electorate in which five of our seven SCEA schools operate. The group also talked with former Deputy Prime Minister Mr John Anderson and Western Australian Senator Mr Matt O’Sullivan about the recent Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) report that may impact our schools in the future.

The formal reception at Parliament House was a chance to visit Australia’s Seat of Government and hear from the Shadow Education Minister, Hon. Sarah Henderson MP, who commended the excellent work being done by Christian schools across Australia.

The group flew back to Perth late last night, Thursday 30 May 2024.

The purpose of conducting the SCEA Research Trips is to see Christian education firsthand in other parts of the country, bring back insights, and learn to shape practice in our schools here in WA.

The travelling group for this trip consisted of:

• Dr Graeme Cross (Chief Executive Officer – SCEA )
• Mr Nick Wood (Chief Operating Officer – SCEA )
• Mr Craig Clark (SCEA Board Chair)
• Mr Jordan Thyer (SCEA Board Member)
• Mr Doug Holtam (Principal, Mundaring Christian College)
• Mr Derek Speldewinde (Dean of Pastoral Care, Northshore Christian Grammar School)
• Mr Matt Dufty (Head of Secondary, Ellenbrook Christian College)
• Mr Terry Eason (Head of Senior School, Swan Christian College)
• Mr Sidney Rajanayagam (Chief Human Resources Officer – SCEA) and
• Mr Giles Creelman (Head of Marketing & Community –  SCEA)

You may have noticed that this trip’s participants are men. The female leaders in SCEA have all elected to attend the upcoming trip to Brisbane later in the year.

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