Members of the EREA Council

Philomena Billington

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.

David White

Mr David White was appointed to EREA Council in July 2017. David was the founding CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia. He has been Chair of Sisters of Charity Community Care, the National Program Manager for Ladder Australia, Chair of the Churchill Fellowship Foundation Community Services Panel, Board Member of Marillac House, and the Founding Chair of the Australian Youth Mentoring Network. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Jesuit Social Ministries Australia and a Member of the Jesuit Professional Standards Committee. In April 2021, he commenced a 9-month contract as Executive Officer for Jesuit Social Ministries. David’s three sons attended an EREA school, and he and his wife spent two years living in remote area Aboriginal communities. He was elected Deputy President and Treasurer of EREA on 15 November 2021.

Peter Turner

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.

Beth Gilligan

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.

Peter Hamill

Peter Hamill was appointed to EREA Council on 10 May 2022.  He retired as Deputy Director of the National Catholic Education Commission in February 2021. Prior to that, Peter spent nine years in the Diocese of Broken Bay, NSW, as Director of Schools (2012-2019) and Assistant Director of Schools (2010-2011). He was a Christian Brother for 26 years, from 1973 to 1999, and during that time held leadership roles at Christian Brothers’ schools and diocesan schools.  He brings this understanding and knowledge of the spirituality and core values of Edmund Rice to EREA Council and an interest in continuing to build the links between EREA and wider Church. Peter is experienced in governance, compliance and risk management processes within school systems. He is also looking forward to sharing his knowledge of current education and theory on faith formation and religious education and linking this with the charism of Edmund Rice.