EREA Charter Leadership Awardees 2023

EREA is pleased to announce the following recipients of the EREA Charter Leadership Awards 2023. Congratulations to the awardees and the many people who were nominated. The EREA Charter Leadership Awards were first introduced in 2015 as a way of recognising the outstanding contributions made by staff members in the service of our school communities in support of the vision and Charter of EREA. These awards celebrate the diverse ways in which the Touchstones are brought to life in our schools and recognise the significant leadership role of individuals. We congratulate the following recipients of these awards for 2023.

Gospel Spirituality     
Margaret Dodd – Year 7 Coordinator, St Patrick’s College Ballarat

Margaret nurtures the spiritual growth in the outstanding way she combines the teaching/learning, wellbeing and Catholic mission dimensions of an education which engages the whole person. Margaret is an exemplary model of this life-affirming integration. Through her active leadership of the Year 7 Liturgical Curriculum, and the Gospel inspired knowledge and wisdom she freely offers to her peers in the Junior School, Margaret is a constant witness to Gospel values. Margaret recognises and acts upon the central place of our Gospel commitment to the marginalised through knowing every student. Like the good shepherd of the Gospels, Margaret knows all in her care by name.

Margaret has planned, implemented and led the Year 7 Orientation Camps at St Patrick’s College for a number of years. She has played an integral role in the transition of boys from primary to secondary education through this process. Margaret has worked skillfully with parents and family members to aid the needs of individual students, always professional in her dealings, always displaying empathy.

Margaret, as a Year Level Co-ordinator held in the highest regard by the College community, continues the work of the Edmund Rice by modelling the prophetic role of the Church to call each person in the fullness of the love that responds to the dignity of each person.

Ultimately, we celebrate the ways in which Margaret Dodd reflects the Gospel Spirituality Touchstone: seeing Christ in the face and being of parents, staff and students as she creates a community of faith.

Inclusive Community
Gail Purdie – Student Receptionist, St Brendan’s College Yeppoon

Gail Purdie has served the St Brendan’s community for 25 years, as a receptionist in Boarding, Administration and Student Services. Gail’s dedication has assisted students and families to feel part of a welcoming, respectful community, including the Torres Strait and indigenous students enrolled at the College. Her nurturing of students, her listening ear, and her problem-solving abilities demonstrate her authenticity in living out the words of Edmund Rice: “Were we to know the merit and value of only going from one street to another for the life of God, we should prize it more than gold or silver”.

Gail has choreographed every College musical in a volunteer capacity during that time. This has enabled countless students to excel and become more resilient, growing in self-esteem, courage and confidence whilst performing on stage. Gail has been instrumental in many students having careers in the performing arts, including eventual employment at the college.

A reflection of Gail’s inclusive nature are the post-school visits by parents and students from Torres Strait, Papua New Guinea, Tasmania and Western Australia, to express their profound thanks. Gail’s community networking has created a culture of welcome and hospitality at St Brendan’s College. Gail’s building of rapport, her instilling of College values and her inclusive nature reflect the essence of the College mantra – Come as strangers, leave as brothers.

Ultimately, we celebrate the ways in which Gail Purdie reflects the Inclusive Community Touchstone: – her hospitable, life giving acts of kindness and service which draw people to each other within an Edmund Rice community.

Justice and Solidarity
Tim Kenny – Dean of Identity, St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe

During his time in Catholic Education, Tim has held the roles of teacher, Head of Faculty: RE, APRE and Dean of Identity. In the past 10 years, Tim has reviewed and renewed College Retreat, Immersion and service programs to ensure that these experiences remain relevant and impactful. Tim is a servant leader who facilitates the programs but is always personally involved.

Tim has planned and led the Indian immersion, numerous First Nations Immersions and has instigated a Timor Leste immersion for 2024. Tim has led and resourced staff and students in Pride Week celebrations, introducing inclusive themes and leading staff meetings and conversations exploring the view of the contemporary church in relation to LGBTIQ+ voice and inclusion.

Tim has credibility amongst staff and students. He challenges his school community and the wider community to consider a broader view of justice and solidarity. He is a person of action who acts as well as speaks and this is well recognized by staff and students. Tim has given an extraordinary amount of personal time to support and assist those in need both as an advocate and a servant of action. Staff and students engage in school programs and continue to do so upon leaving school due to the example and leadership given to them by Tim.

Ultimately, we celebrate the ways in which Tim Kenny reflects the Justice and Solidarity Touchstone: the way he has empowered others to stand beside the other, leading and building a respectful and courageous Edmund Rice community.

Liberating Education  
Lorraine Browne – Staff Formation and Support, Xavier Flexi Schools Network

Lorraine Browne has worked at The Centre Education Programme since 1989 and has shepherd the growth of Flexis in diverse communities across Australia ever since. In 2005 Lorraine became the Coordinator of The Centre Education Programme, championing young people who had lost faith in the education system, had lost self-esteem as learners, with no voice or choice. Since 2013 Lorraine has been a member of the Xavier Flexi Schools Network Team.

Lorraine listens deeply, gaining the confidence of staff and young people. Lorraine is an enduring model of inclusion, unconditional positive regard and respect for the vulnerable and disenfranchised. She engages with their struggle, honours their dignity and advocates for justice, hope and peace as central to the vision of our schools. Lorraine has empowered First Nation voices, actively promoting many leaders within our schools.

To Lorraine, teaching and learning are reciprocal acts. She has created space for young people and staff to open their hearts and minds. Lorraine gently challenges us to be what our young people deserve, that they “may have life and have it to the full”. In 2023 Lorraine continues to shape the development of staff and leaders across the three South East Qld Xavier schools, deepening their understanding of Flexi Practice, Learning and Pedagogy. Lorraine is an extraordinary person who embodies the charism of Edmund Rice.

Ultimately, we celebrate the ways in which Lorraine Browne reflects the Liberating Education Touchstone: her commitment to the intent of Edmund Rice in building confidence, agency and freedom, in and for young people.