As I grow and learn in my new leadership role, I aim to shine a light on the truly remarkable and inspiring work carried out by passionate and dedicated MACS staff who, together with the schools, leaders and communities that they serve, ensure all learners "reach their potential and be the best version of themselves" (MACS manifesto).
The light of the new MACS logo and the accompanying manifesto "lighting their path" (see below) could not be more apt.
|MACS logo - I acknowledge the source of the image located at this link|
MACS Staff Seminar October 2022
The dining room at the Catholic Leadership Centre was full to capacity with almost 600 staff from all Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) offices (Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western offices and James Gould House headquarters).
This was the first in - person gathering of its kind post Covid; a golden opportunity for me to be immersed into a system undergoing deep change since the transformation from CEM (Catholic Education Melbourne) to MACS 24 months ago.
The purpose of the staff seminar was to provide a platform for staff voice in relation to the recently launched MACS Strategy 2030.MACS 2030 Forming Lives to Enrich the World
Purpose “why we exist” Forming lives of faith, hope and love in the light of Jesus Christ
Vision - “the impact we want to have” Every student is inspired and enabled to flourish and enrich the world.
The energy in the room was tangible as colleagues from across Melbourne reconnected in person. Faces glowed with beaming smiles no longer hidden behind Covid masks.
Being invited along with 100 other newcomers (staff who joined MACS in the past few months) to stand up and be warmly welcomed to our first staff seminar was indeed a privilege. This was my first experience of interacting with all staff who contribute to Catholic education at the system level. Together MACS staff serve nearly 300 schools and 100,000 students from across Melbourne.
Three months into my new role as Regional Leadership Consultant (RLC) has meant a shift in mind set and culture for me. I have moved from leading one school to being responsible for supporting, coaching and mentoring principals & leadership teams across 15 schools. Together with my 4 RLC colleagues, our Regional General Manager and all 40 of the staff based in the Southern Regional Office (SRO), we support almost 80 schools.
Although I can draw from a toolkit of 25 years of leadership experience across 4 countries, I am still a novice in this exciting, new role. I am passionate about learning and keen to understand how I can adapt, develop and nuance my skills to best suit the diverse contexts of the schools and the MACS system. I am constantly asking questions as I continue to develop and grow in my role. I am fortunate to work alongside 40 talented staff where no questions is too difficult to answer.
During the seminar, we formed mini groups of staff from a wide variety of roles and were given the chance to discuss the questions below. Here is a summary of the responses from our mini group. All groups were invited to share with the wider group and were very appreciative of the chance to provide feedback and staff voice.
What do you find most exciting about MACS 2030 ? The strategy is fresh and broad enough for our diverse personnel to relate to. The timing of the strategy works well with the restructuring and change to the MACS governance model. The strategy connects and aligns the work for all of our groups through a shared vision and it encompasses all elements though such themes as flourishing learners, building capabilities, building relationships and a sense of community. The strong faith focus underpins our mission. Being given time today to focus on the strategy and understand it further, helps all of us to connect with it.
What changes do you want to see by 2030? We would particularly like to see equity for all learners so that they can all flourish. We want to retain high quality learning environments for every student and close the gap between privileged and underprivileged students. We want all students to become critical thinkers to prepare them to be active participants in the world beyond the classrooms.
How do we need to change by 2030 ? We want to see greater clarity for schools as a whole entity about the role that all MACS staff play for the greater good of our system. We want to ensure that we will work collaboratively across our offices and share consistent messages to all schools.
To help us achieve our Purpose and Vision, what suggestions or next steps do you have ? The value in having more opportunities to collaborate like today where all MACS staff across regions & central offices can learn together and align their work would be beneficial. In summary, we conclude with the C's: role Clarity, Communication, Collaboration, Connection, Consistency and Courage for all of us going forward.
Following on from this activity, we were invited to celebrate mass together with Father Mark Reynolds. Fr Mark is the Episcopal Vicar to Catholic Schools. You can learn more about Father Mark's role at this link. Fr Mark reminded each of us to be God's flavour in the world.
In November, after the annual thanksgiving mass for principals led by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli at St Patrick's Cathedral, Fr Mark presented the recognition awards to to new and retiring principals.
|At the Principal Celebration evening, Fr Mark Reynolds |
presented me with my certificate of recognition for principalship