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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 Executive Director of the Catholic Education Office, Jacqui Francis, is the Executive Secretary and Len Horner 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.
Bishop Tim Harris is the sixth Bishop of Townsville, appointed by Pope Francis 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.
Ron Pugh (Chair) Ron’s involvement with the Catholic Education sector spans 32 years as a parent, Board member and Board Chair. Ron has now retired from a Human Resources and Senior Management background with many years’ experience in the Public Sector. He was appointed to the Townsville Diocesan Education Council in 2020 and appointed as the Chair from 2021. Ron has a particular interest in how Catholic education maintains its identity, mission and values whilst at the same time developing and maintaining relationships with the wider church community. Ron was a proud nominee for the Townsville Diocese, Spirit of Catholic Education Award, in 2020.
Jacqui Francis commenced in the role of Executive Director of Townsville Catholic Education in April 2018. She previously held the position of Director of Organisational Services and Capability within the organisation. Jacqui commenced her career as a primary school teacher and worked in state schools in Victoria. She went on to hold middle and senior leadership roles in the NSW public sector and has applied her skills
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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
Chris Waters Chris represents 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.