Dear Members of the Edmund Rice Education Australia Community

Last year we announced that Dr Wayne Tinsey, after 13 years of outstanding service, would be completing his time as Executive Director, EREA, at the end of 2020. We take this opportunity, the first of many as the year unfolds, to express our deep gratitude to Dr Tinsey for his visionary leadership and dedication to founding the mission of EREA and courageously stewarding our ongoing commitment to the education of the young people in our care across Australia.

In December, the Board and the Council of EREA began a national search to find our next Executive Director. We undertook an extensive selection process supported by recruiters Fish & Nankivell, attracting a field of high-quality educational leaders from across the country. The selection panel consisted of Mrs Bobby Court, Chair of the Board of EREA, Br Paul Oakley, President, Chair of the Council of EREA, Mr Graham Goerke, Council member and former Chair of Board of EREA and Mrs Audrey Brown, Director of Catholic Education, Diocese of Ballarat.

Following a careful process of discernment, we write today to announce that Dr Craig Wattam, current Principal of St Patrick’s College Strathfield, has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia by the EREA Board with the agreement of the EREA Council. Craig will commence in the role at the start of 2021.

All who know Craig will appreciate the qualities he has, which have led to his selection for this challenging and rewarding role. It is challenging because of the size and complexity of our network of schools and rewarding because it will allow him to work alongside all our staff and the families of the 38,000 young people whom we serve across the nation.

During the past three years, Craig, in his own words, has found that his role ‘as Principal of St Patrick’s College Strathfield has provided (him) with both the lived experience of, and passion for, Catholic education in the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice.’ Towards the end of his six years as Assistant Director of Schools in the Maitland Newcastle Diocese Craig came to know EREA through the conversations between the Diocese and EREA that led to the establishment of a Flexible Learning Centre in Inner-Newcastle.

Craig’s evident and practical faith, his passion for teaching and learning, his leadership in multiple roles in a broad range of schools and at the system level, will benefit the whole of the EREA network of schools and activities across Australia and lead us into the next chapter of our story invigorated by our Charter and by the impetus of our new Strategic Directions.

Edmund Rice Education Australia is an extraordinary network of diverse schools serving and providing a positive educational experience for thousands of young people and families in Australia. On behalf of all members of this community, we warmly congratulate Craig on his appointment; we pray for him and give thanks for his generosity of service as he takes up this significant responsibility of leadership.


Mrs Bobby Court                    Br. Paul Oakley
Chair of the Board                  President on behalf of the Council