Federation of Religious Institutes and MPJPs becomes CRMNA

On Tuesday 14 November 2023 the Federation of Religious institute and Public Juridic Persons met for its AGM and to celebrate 10 years since its inception. Forty leaders, Principals, members of PJPs and Religious Institutes gathered for the occasion, which was hosted by the Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney and celebrated at Stormanston House.

The Acting Chair of the Federation, Mrs Kitty Guerin announced that the organisation was to have a new name – “Catholic Religious Institute and Ministerial Public Juridic Persons NSW and ACT School Authorities”, with the acronym ‘CRMNA’. Mrs Guerin said the change to the new name of the Federation will be effective 1 January 2024.
Mrs Guerin also released a video detailing the work of the Federation and its new name:

The event began with Brother Paul Oakley cfc speaking of the earlier foundational work that created the Federation which began at a meeting at the Marist Centre, Mascot. He said that it “was Brother Michael Green’s (FMS) paper Putting some Big Rocks into Place that stimulated the support of Religious Institute leaders and Principals in 2013.”
“There was a general openness to the principles canvassed in the discussion paper, and a willingness to look for ways to address the structural and cultural divisions among Catholic schools that have developed over time, in the interests of greater cohesion, collaboration and co-responsibility in and for the Catholic education sector.” Brother Paul said.

Dr Frank Malloy, Marist Schools Australia, and until recently the Federation Chair, detailed many of the issues faced by the Federation. He told the specific contribution made by the Federation to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic.   “Our contribution was recognised as thoughtful and balanced. We were committed to care of students and staff in an uncertain environment.”

“The Federation was consistently acknowledged by CSNSW and NCEC for its constructive contributions and collaboration across all sectors of education throughout the pandemic.”

“Important advice was sought by the Federal and State Governments in the management of boarding students and the residential environments.”
This collaborative approach by the Federation has also been recognised in the 2022 Review of Catholic Schools NSW. NSW RI/MPJP stakeholders are represented on all the CSNSW reference groups, working groups and information networks to allow their voice to be included in the development of State-wide policies for Catholic education and consideration of issues for the sector.

Mrs Kitty Guerin 0417040146
Michael McDonald 0419499801

Annual General Meeting 18 November 2019

The Federation’s second Annual General Meeting was held at the Polding Centre – Monday 18 November 2019. The AGM was followed by a Members’ Forum. Both events were well supported by members and other attendees.

Br Paul Oakley cfc and Leonie Keaney both retired at the AGM.
The members elected Fran Warner (Good Samaritan Education) and Peter Leuenberger (Edmund Rice Education Australia) to replace Br Paul and Leonie.

Following the AGM the council elected Dr Frank Malloy as Chair for the ensuing 12 months, Paul Mastronardi as Deputy Chair and Peter Leuenberger as Treasurer. Kathleen Guerin continues in the role as Secretary.

The Federation was delighted to have Jacinta Collins Executive Director of the National Catholic Education Commission, as guest speaker at the Forum. Jacinta discussed Religious Exemptions in Anti-Discrimination Legislation.
A number of staff, along with Dallas McInerney from Catholic Schools NSW also made presentations on the day.

Photos from the day

The Education Policy Committee

Much of the Federation’s important work is carried out by its Education Policy Committee, established by the Federation’s Council during early 2018. The membership of this committee is:

Kitty Guerin – Councillor & Committee Chair
Chair of Board – Brigidine College, St Ives
Chair of Board – St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga

Jane Curran
Principal – Brigidine College, St Ives

Tony Fitzgerald
CEO/Principal – Mater Dei, Camden

Jennie Hickey
Executive Officer – Jesuit Education Australia

John Kyle-Robinson
Regional Director – Marist Schools Australia (NSW & ACT)

Professor Marea Nicholson
Chair- Education Committee – Catholic Religious Australia

Dr Anne Wenham
Head of College – St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst

Each member is a senior educator, providing valuable insight. The committee meets regularly, maintaining an issues-based focus in a range of areas. It is the point of contact between the Federation and Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW), contributing to discussion and communicating with principals of the 45 RI and PJP member schools. Important issues during 2019 have included Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability; capital funding through the NSW Catholic Block Grant Authority; the NSW Curriculum Review; and, planned changes to the methodology for determining recurrent funding of non-government schools.

During this year, a survey of principals conducted by the committee provided valuable data on the support needs of RI & PJP schools, to assist in working with CSNSW towards services and representation in a relationship that best targets schools’ unique requirements. On 16 August 2019, the Education Policy Committee hosted its third Principals’ Forum. The meeting was well attended and we encourage attendance at future gatherings as they are seen as beneficial connections for principals.
The meeting outlined the work being undertaken in the development of a memorandum of understanding between Canonical authorities and provided opportunity for principals to discuss their most important needs and for the leadership of CSNSW to respond to them. Dallas Mcinerney, Chief Executive Officer of CSNSW informed principals that a working group, including representation from CSNSW was continuing to work through the detail of new funding arrangements, and that while confidentiality agreements prevented disclosure of specific information, CSNSW had undertaken to provide support and assistance to schools in dealing with potential financial impacts upon them. We encourage schools to take up this offer of support.

Other important connections by the committee have been with Sydney Catholic Schools and the leadership of NESA, providing opportunity to discuss the respective parties’ contributions to Catholic education.

Section 83C Guidelines

Not-for-profit guidelines for non-government schools, first issued in September 2015, have recently been revised and may be accessed here.

Section 83C of the Education Act 1990 (the Act) requires all non-government schools to operate on a “not-for-profit” basis within the meaning of the Act in order to be eligible for funding from the NSW Government. These guidelines provide practical guidance for schools to assist them to comply with the Act in common financial transaction and record keeping areas.

Emergency Management for Schools

Catholic Schools NSW is providing training in emergency management for schools and support through its emergency management manual and template.
Dr Tony McArthur, a senior experienced school and system administrator in diocesan and congregational schools is available to provide further information and may be contacted by mobile on 0421 647 811 or by email at