The Country Dioceses Leadership Program grew out of a leadership course offered to teachers in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Ballarat. Later, teachers from other country dioceses in Victoria were invited to join in this Ballarat program.

In 1998 it was decided that the three country Dioceses of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst would co host the program and would rotate the hosting on an annual basis. Since then, Country Dioceses leadership Programs have been held at Philip Island, Hall's Gap, Harrietville and Melbourne University. Each program identifies a specific cohort of teachers in leadership positions in primary and secondary schools on which to focus for delivery of content. These cohorts have ranged from teachers in their first leadership role, middle management, Religious Education Coordinators, to teachers in senior leadership positions in Catholic schools.

The program has had two 12 month periods of review, when there was a break to the normal schedule. In those two years ACU delivered a very successful program to Principals. Meeting Sophia has been a rich and relevant contribution to the diversity of the Country Diocese Leadership Program. In 2002 ACU accredited our program as meeting requirements for a registered unit towards the Master of Educational Leadership degree. This registration was updated in 2005 through ACU National. This is an optional component for participants. We celebrate our partnership with ACU in enhancing Catholic educational leadership in our dioceses.

A tracing of participants from 1999 - 2004 showed that the vast majority have progressed to more senior leadership positions in their schools or in other schools. Some have also taken on the position of principal. Feedback tells us that their participation in this program supported them in their leadership journey. A significant number have also completed their Master of Educational Leadership Degree or other studies as a result of their participation in the Country Dioceses Leadership program.

Aims of the Program

Primary goals of the Country Dioceses Leadership Program:

  • To enhance the competencies of teachers holding leadership positions in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst
  • To nurture and support the personal, professional and spiritual growth of these teachers
  • To develop links and relationships between participants, between schools and between dioceses.