Members of the EREA Council
Ms Philomena (Phil) Billington was appointed to EREA Council in July 2018. Phil is a recognised educator, leader and facilitator across Australia, having taught and held leadership roles in a number of Government and Catholic remote, rural and city schools in four states and five dioceses. Her leadership roles have included being the first female Director of Catholic Education (Sandhurst Diocese), retiring at the end of 2014, Deputy Director with responsibility for Catholic Identity & Stewardship, and the development of two Religious Education Curriculum documents in two Dioceses. Phil now offers consultancy services (Ministry Without Borders) for leaders in Catholic Education across the nation, especially in rural dioceses. She is passionate about and committed to providing pro bono support for young people living with disability, encouraging growth towards a more inclusive Church and society, and parish and diocesan pastoral development. Phil is the EREA member of the Association of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons (AMPJP); is Chair of the Committee of Religious Institute and Ministerial Public Juridic Persons School Authorities Australia (CORMSAA) and is a member of the Advisory Board of the La Salle Academy of the Australian Catholic University. Phil was elected Deputy President in 2020 and President of EREA on 15 November 2021.
Mr Kieran McCarthy BA(Hons) LLB was appointed to EREA Council on 1 July 2023. Brisbane-based, Kieran is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law and Director of Naughton McCarthy Family Lawyers. He is a Deputy Chair of Mercy Partners, which has ministerial responsibility for education, health, aged care and community service ministries in Queensland and New South Wales. Kieran is Mercy Partners delegate to the Association of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons (AMPJP). He is also a Board Member of Brigidine College, Indooroopilly, a mission of Kildare Ministries.
Kieran was educated at St Joseph’s College, Nudgee in Queensland and remained involved with the College for several years as a boarding supervisor and running the boarders’ tuck shop. His family is steeped in Christian Brothers values and traditions, with his father, uncles, father-in-law and siblings educated at Christian Brothers schools.
With his extensive experience of serving on catholic school boards and another MPJP (Ministerial Public Juridic Person) in Brisbane, Kieran is a welcome addition to the Council of EREA.
Mr Peter Turner was appointed to the EREA Council on 1 January 2021. He has broad experience in Catholic education, most recently as Director of Schools with the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong for 13 years. Peter’s other roles include Regional Director of Education for the Southern Region of the Archdiocese of Sydney for five years, principal in two secondary schools as foundation principal over 13 years, Deputy Chair of the former NSW Catholic Education Commission for five years, and Chair of the Commission School Resources Committee for nine years. Peter has a deep love of faith and a strong commitment to Catholic education ‘making a difference’. He brings to the Council his capacity to think and act strategically, a collaborative leadership style and a preparedness to tackle the ‘hard issues’ with honesty.
Ms Beth Gilligan was appointed to the EREA Council on 10 May 2022. She retired from her position with the Salesians of Don Bosco as Principal of Dominic College, Glenorchy, Tasmania in 2021 (2009-2021). She was the first lay and first female Principal of the College. Beth has been involved nationally in a number of Church agency roles and worked as an independent Education Consultant for over a decade supporting a range of religious congregations, their schools and ministries as a facilitator, reviewer and planner. She is the author of several educational texts promoting education for justice and solidarity. Beth grew up and was educated by religious congregations in the Hunter Valley in NSW. In her professional life, she has watched the growth of Edmund Rice Education Australia with much interest over many years and interacted with the Christian Brothers at several NSW schools, particularly as the inaugural Chair of St Lucy’s School Board at Wahroonga. Her interests on Council include governance, formation, and cultural guardianship of the charism of Edmund Rice. Beth believes that every person involved in EREA continues to write anew the story of Edmund Rice with their own lives and authentic witness to liberating education.
Dr Michael Slattery was appointed to EREA Council on 18 April 2023. Michael is currently Lecturer in Charge in the Masters of Education program at the Australian Catholic University, and Director of PP Educational Services. Previously, Michael was Executive Director of Schools in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. Michael is deeply embedded in the Edmund Rice charism, having been educated by the Christian Brothers for eight years. He has held Principal positions with the Christian Brothers at Bondi, Lewisham and with EREA at East Gosford.
With his wife, Michael has led 15 trips to Kenya leading students and adults on spiritual leadership immersions and has raised funds for a Baby Health Ruben Centre and the Mary Rice Centre in Nairobi, where his wife spends time each year training midwives. As well as his strong ethics and commitment to Catholicism, Michael brings to EREA his wealth of experience in fiscal responsibility and finance, and in capital works and property. Michael is passionate about educational leadership and relationship building, and will add value in encouraging and leading relationship between the Trustees and EREA’s new entities, schools and wider Church bodies.