Sue Kennedy-Branford Retires as Chair of St Mary’s College Board

St Mary’s College Board of Directors said goodbye to their retiring Chair Sue Kennedy-Branford at the recent AGM in May of this year.

Sue began as Chair in 2016 and was instrumental in orchestrating the changes to governance in the implementation of DEA. Sue’s professional background in school leadership and Senior Advisor tenure in Catholic Education SA, and most recently her support of other school leaders as a Principal Consultant, brought many gifts and much wisdom to the Board at a critical time of change.

Sue was particularly successful in the establishment of new Board sub-committees as the DEA introduced revised constitutions, reporting templates and frameworks of accountability. A new building program, a new Principal appointment and the selection of new Board directors also saw Sue lead this body of professional governance members dynamically and with recognized success.

Sue Kennedy-Branford began her teaching career at St Mary’s College in the 1980s and to know that she has revisited the College as a much respected and loved Board Chair, and now leaves it with the benefits of good governance under her watch, is testament to her passion for education.




Sean McGing was formally commissioned as Chair of Siena College Board at the annual Board Inservice Day on Saturday 19th May by Sr Julianna Drobik OP, a Trustee of Dominican Education Australia (DEA) in a moving liturgy in the College Chapel.  Sean is in his ninth year as a Director on the Board. He was Chair of the Finance Committee from 2008 to 2013 and a member for two years prior. From 2013-2017 Sean chaired the Risk Management Committee of the Board having chaired the former Risk Management Working Group (RMWG) established in 2010 by the Board. Sean brings a wealth of experience in governance and a passion to serve the Siena community to his new role.

Damian Giannangelo and Celia Conlan, new Directors to the Board were also commissioned during the prayer ritual.




A two-day workshop for ministry leaders in Dominican schools has been held in Adelaide. Held at Teresa Moore Centre, the workshop was led by Sr Sheila Flynn OP and Marg O’Shea. It was an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the Dominican charism within the mission of Jesus Christ in education and to share resources.

Sixteen people attended from both DEA education ministries (Santa Sabina College, St Lucy’s School, Siena College, St Mary’s College, St Dominic’s Priory College and Cabra Dominican College) and other schools with a heritage from NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

Sr Bernadette Kiley OP opened the first day with an exegesis on Matthew’s gospel which participants found very enlightening. This was followed with a workshop on how the Four Pillars can be used as a framework on which to hang formation for staff and students. Then the Salamanca Process was explained and discussed as a tool for social justice education. Later sessions were held in groups, where participants were able to share their curriculum ideas and experiences with their peers.

Retirement of Marg O’Shea

Margaret O’Shea, the well-known and much loved Promoter of Mission and Identity with the DEA, is retiring at the end of 2017. Before joining DEA, Marg had spent a number of years in a similar role for the Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands following an extensive career as an educator.

In celebrating and acknowledging her enormous contribution to the promotion of the Dominican charism in schools, DEA Chair, Sue Fabian, presented Marg with a gift. In response, Marg said ‘I love the Hallett Holy Ground, especially as the Holy Ground hymn was a constant link on our pilgrimages. Thank you for the thought you put into the purchase. I will toast you all when I drink them.’

DEA wishes Marg well in her future endeavours.



Siena College Board Chair Farewelled

Dr Beverley Begg, Chair of the Siena College Board was farewelled at the annual Board and Committees Dinner in Melbourne on Tuesday 5th December. Sue Fabian (Chair – DEA), Sr Judith Lawson OP (Prioress), Professor Michelle Welsh (Deputy Board Chair) and Gaynor Robson-Garth (Principal) all paid tribute to Beverley’s outstanding leadership and service to the Siena College Board. Beverley has held the position of Chair since June 2010. Beverley’s strong commitment to the Mission of the College underpinned her highly diligent approach to good governance.

L-R Gaynor Robson, Garth, Michelle Welsh, Beverley Begg,

Sue Fabian, Judith Lawson OP, Julianna Drobik OP



Dominican Education Conference May 2017

On the 12th and 13th May the inaugural Dominican Education Australia Conference was held at Siena College in Melbourne.

There were 250 participants from thirty schools and Colleges, comprising the seven Education Ministries of DEA, together with many others who seek to enliven the Dominican heritage on which their schools were founded, across all Australian States and around New Zealand.

Dominican Sisters, priests and brothers, school principals and staff, school and DEA board directors gathered to explore the theme of Truth Searching with Father Timothy Radcliffe OP, (former Master General of the Dominican Order). Dominican Education Network Conferences have been held for many years but this was the first hosted by the new Governance body Dominican Education Australia since its official launch in August 2016.

In addition to Fr Timothy’s thought provoking addresses, participants engaged in dialogue in concurrent sessions on a range of topics designed to accommodate the interests of the Conference delegates – Board Directors from DEA schools, members of School Executives, teaching and non-teaching staff and Dominican Sisters. These sessions explored Truth Searching across a range of topics including canon law, good governance, theology, prayer and liturgy, new models of Church, human trafficking, justice education, poverty and disadvantage.

The Conference dinner provided an excellent opportunity for participants to renew acquaintances and meet new colleagues. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP and the local Dominican Prior, Fr Kevin Toomey OP celebrated a wonderful Eucharist filled with song and friendship at the conclusion of the conference.

The Trustees of Dominican Education Australia are grateful to Siena College for their generosity in hosting a highly successful inaugural Conference.




DEA Appoints Mission Team

The Dominican charism is central to the mission of DEA and to those who exercise governance on its behalf, and to the educational experiences of the staff and students in DEA schools. Handing on of this living and dynamic charism is an essential element of our stewardship. Dominican Education Australia is delighted to announce the recent appointment of a team to lead this important role. (more…)

Mary Jacquier – Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia

Congratulations to Mary Jacquier, Dominican Education Australia Director, on her award of an OAM in the 2017 Australian Honours List. On reading the account of Mary’s contribution to Catholic Education in South Australia, it is clear that the award is richly deserved.  Dominican Education Australia is fortunate to have someone of her talent and experience on our Board. (more…)