Salesian Educational Leaders Conference

Over seventy five leaders from Salesian schools in Australia and Samoa gathered at Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne for the Salesian Educational Conference on 7-8 August. It is an event run by the Australia Pacific Salesian Principals Associations every two years. The theme of this year is the Stories.

On Friday 7th August, Fr Phil Gleeson SDB presented the opening talk on the story of the Road to Emmaus from a theological perspective. He unpacked it nicely and invited the leaders to journey along with the stories of Jesus in their ministry, in addition to Don Bosco. The rest of the day was led by Christine Carlton about how stories are created, shared and lived. People enjoyed thoroughly with Christine’s presentation and insights.

Vin Feeney, the longest serving member of the ASPSPA, joined the dinner for his farewell in the evening. Vin has taken up the position of principal at St Francis Xavier College in Beaconsfield this year. On behalf of the group, Lynn Martin thanked Vin for his outstanding service to the Salesian education in the last 17 years at St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully. In his farewell speech, Vin also thanked all members of the APSPA. He particularly thanked the Salesian provincials and the rectors he worked with during his time at St Joseph’s for their trust and cooperation.

On Saturday morning, Fr Michael Court presented the Untold Stories of the Salesians through his magic touch. He challenged the participants to see the bigger picture of stories in their work. Then the participants sat together in their school groups discussing how to share the stories of Don Bosco in their school communities.

A highlight of the weekend is the presentation of a Playback Theatre’s “Bringing our Stories to Life”. This performance by five talented young actors was just amazing. One can only understand and appreciate it by being there. They were fantastic in relaying the stories told by the participants.

The conference was concluded by the Eucharist led by Fr Greg Chambers, the provincial of the Australia-Pacific province. During the Eucharist Fr Chambers thanked the participants for being the heroes to the young in the footsteps of St John Bosco in Salesian education.

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