Diocesan Education Council

The role of the Diocesan Education Council (DEC) is to assist the Bishop in formulating the Townsville Diocesan Catholic Education vision and identity.

The DEC makes and monitors educational policies so that they are consistent with the Diocesan Mission Statement. Members are appointed by the Bishop and drawn from Catholics within the Diocese. They do not represent any one group in its representation.

Bishop Tim Harris, Bishop of the Diocese of Townsville, is the president of the DEC.  The Director of the Catholic Education Office, Dr Cathy Day, is the Executive Secretary and Marie Radford is Chair.

Meetings are held each month at the Catholic Education Office in Townsville or at schools within the Diocese. The DEC is affiliated with the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.

DEC Documents

DEC Members

Pictured left are the DEC members at their May 2017 meeting (back l-r): Christina Pery (TCEO), Tony Polga, Alanna Jacoby, Paul Clay, Bishop Tim Harris, Christian Gordon (Deputy Chair), Fr Dave Lancini; (front l-r) Dr Cathy Day, Marie Radford (Chair), Tracy Nuttall, Chris Waters,  Lisa White (TCEO)

DEC Visit to St Clare's Catholic Schools -In August, the Diocesan Education Council visited the school to attend the opening and blessing of their new buildings and meeting with senior staff, P&F and School Board members. The DEC visits schools each year to meet staff and discuss issues important to the school community. 

Bishop Tim Harris is the sixth Bishop of Townsville, appointed by Pope Frances in February 2017. He was ordained a priest on 18th November 1992 and served as parish priest of Corinda Graceville and Surfers Paradise.  Bishop Harris has served in various offices as Vicar Forane of the Brisbane West Deanery, member of the Council of Priests, the Personnel Board and the Clergy Appointments Board and until his appointment as bishop, he held the office of Vicar Forane for the South Coast Deanery of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. He obtained the degree Bachelor of Theology from the Brisbane College of Theology.

Marie Radford has worked in Townsville Catholic schools as both a teacher and Principal since 1976 - St Mary's School, West End (teacher) St Joseph's Catholic School, Mundingburra (Acting Principal),   Ryan Catholic College (Deputy Principal) and St Joseph's School, The Strand (Principal). Following this Marie spent nine years as a School Consultant for Townsville Catholic Education before retiring and taking on the role of Diocesan Director for Caritas. Marie is a grandmother to five beautiful children.

Dr Cathy Day is the Executive Director of Catholic Education, Diocese of Townsville. She began teaching at St Joseph's School Mt Isa and has been Principal of both Holy Spirit School and Ryan Catholic College. She received her Doctorate in 2001 and maintains a keen interest in research which can further both the development of sound educational practice and contribute to improving organisational structures and processes. The development of workplace spirituality is also an area of great interest.

Christian Gordon comes from the Gold Coast, where he completed in schooling at Marymount Catholic College and went onto study a Bachelor of Communications at Bond University. Christian then worked for a global HR firm while living abroad in the UK. When returning to Australia, he commenced his Diploma of Secondary Education through the University of New England. Christian worked at St Teresa's College, Abergowrie as Head of Boarding and Business Manager, mentoring a series of extracurricular programs that went onto receive national recognition. Christian now owns and operates a communications consultancy. 

Michael Conn was born in Townsville and is a very proud old boy and current Principal of Ignatius Park College.  He has more 25 years experience in Edmund Rice schools having taught at Ignatius Park, St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane and St Brendan's College, Yeppoon. Michael is married with six children and enjoys most sport with a particular interest in Cricket and Rugby.  Michael has spent time in recent years on the Parish Council of St Joseph's North Ward and on the School Board for St Joseph's, The Strand.

Tracy Nuttall is the Principal of St Peter's Catholic School Halifax. Prior to moving to Ingham to take up this position in 2015, she lived in Townsville for 24 years where she raised three children with her husband, John. Tracy has previously taught at Holy Spirit School in Townsville for thirteen years. She received her Bachelor of Education degree in 2001, preceded by a Bachelor of Economics in 1985.

Karl McKenzie is a retired soldier. The extra time this brings, allows Karl to commit to his role as Chair of the Queensland Parents and Friends Federation and one of two Queensland representatives on the newly formed Catholic School Parents Australia. He has three children at Ryan Catholic College, and his wife Julie, is a teacher at Heatley Secondary College.

Fr Dave Lancini has been a priest for 43 years in the Townsville Diocese. Currently serving as parish priest of the Ministerial Region of the Good Shepherd including the churches of Kirwan and Upper Ross.He is a member of the College of Consultors, DDF Board, Family Life Council  also the Chairman of the Priests' Support Committee. In addition to these roles, Fr Dave is a Police Chaplain. Fr Dave says he is "Happy to be involved in Catholic Education in the Townsville diocese."

Tony Polga was born and bred in Ayr and has been involved in the agriculture industry since the age of 15. Tony is the Service Manager at AgNorth PtyLtd, a position he's held over the past 16 years since the business opened. Catholic Schools in the Burdekin have always been a passion of Tony's, he is the Chairman of the Burdekin Catholic High School Board and Chairman of the St Francis School Board. Even though Tony's children are all grown up now, he is still an active member of the Burdekin Catholic High School P & F Committee. Tony also sits on the Finance Board for Sacred Heart Parish. 

Alanna Jacoby is the Deputy Principal of the Padua campus at St Anthony's Catholic College, Deeragun. Her previous positions include APRE at St Joseph's Catholic School, Mundingburra and APRE and teacher at Marian Catholic School, Currajong. Alanna spent six years teaching in the Darling Downs before moving to Townsville 22 years ago. She has a Master degree in Educational Leadership and only has several subjects left in her Master of Theology. Alanna is married to husband Michael, whom she has four daughters with. 

Chris Waters - Chris represent the Western schools in the Diocese. He resides in Cloncurry and has been involved as a parent of students at St Joseph's Catholic School, Cloncurry for 18 years. Cloncurry has been his home for almost twenty years. He is also an enthusiastic member of the P&F and is a member of the Diocesan P&F Committee.

Paul Clay - information coming soon