Priority Items

Creating a COVID-Safe workplace (Ref: 239/21)

Catholic Schools NSW is pleased to invite you to a webinar ‘Creating a COVID-Safe Workplace’. This is a timely opportunity to discuss a range of COVID related issues, for example, when and in what circumstances can an employee collect the vaccination status of employees, what are the privacy implications, when can an employer direct you back to work. The session is designed to be interactive with plenty of time for Q&A.

This will take place on Tuesday 31 August from 2pm-3pm.

This webinar will be hosted within the Catholic Schools NSW Professional Learning platform – register here.

Please see here for more detailed registration instructions.

Attendees will hear from the following panellists:

  • Audrey Bower, Chief Legal and Risk Officer, Catholic Schools NSW
  • Christopher Owens, Head of Professional Services, Catholic Employment Relations
  • Amy Walsh, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison

Audrey Bower is the Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Catholic Schools NSW and leads the Legal, Risk and Research Team. Audrey provides high quality legal advice and related compliance services to the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Catholic School Agencies. The Legal Risk and Research Team researches, develops and implements strategies, policies and procedures that provide the Company with a legal and risk framework in which to operate. Audrey is the Catholic school’s representative on the Non-Government Schools Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Catholic Schools NSW Audrey worked in financial services for over 20 years providing advice and legal support to Boards and businesses on compliance and governance.

Christopher Owens leads a team of experienced employment relations advisors at CER, providing employment and workplace relations advice and services to Catholic employers. Chris is also a senior lawyer and provides legal advice and representation to CER’s clients. Prior to joining CER, Chris was Senior Legal Counsel at Catholic Schools New South Wales, assisting Catholic schools and Diocesan offices in NSW in matters related to child protection, privacy, workplace relations, compliance and other issues, and providing legal advice and guidance to Catholic Schools New South Wales’s internal stakeholders. Chris was also the Child Protection Manager and Privacy Officer for Sydney Catholic Schools.

Amy Walsh is a Special Counsel in Workplace practice at MinterEllison, based in Sydney. Amy advises clients across a broad range of industries including education, insurance and financial services, government, manufacturing, retail and mining and resources.

Amy has a particular interest in Education Law and has strong relationships with a range of Independent Schools across NSW,  specialising in the primary and secondary school sector. She has advised Independent Schools and the NSW Department of Education on matters including enrolment disputes, student issues and wellbeing and safety matters, employment matters, parent disputes, child protection investigations, funding issues and governance. Amy regularly advises school boards about governance matters.

Amy also has more than 15 years of experience advising clients on a wide range of employment, litigation and industrial issues.


This webinar will be hosted within the Catholic Schools NSW Professional Learning platform here.

Guests will need to sign in, click on the webinar button titled  ‘Creating a COVID-Safe workplace’ on the dashboard, and sign up to the webinar.

Please note: If you click on the link and the page says ‘Uh-Oh’ you simply need to click back on your browser and try again. Catholic Schools New South Wales is aware of this issue for some people however the issue will be rectified if you can go back and try again.

HSC - COVID-19 Special Consideration Program (Ref: 224/21)

Following a meeting of the NESA COVID-19 Response Committee, NESA has announced the following:

The NESA COVID-19 Response Committee has extended the COVID Special Consideration Program to most HSC major projects being completed by HSC students across the state.

This means teachers will provide a mark or estimate for their students’ major projects in:

  • Drama
  • Textiles and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Industrial Technology
  • Visual Arts

Students will need to submit their projects by the published due dates and teachers will have until 22 October to submit marks to NESA.

When providing a mark or estimate, teachers will take into consideration any impact of COVID-19 restrictions on students’ work.

Teacher provided marks will be moderated by NESA to ensure equity across the state.

The decision was made to limit the movement of NESA markers within and beyond Greater Sydney and is in line with Health advice for protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the HSC exams.

The following major projects (that are submitted online) will continue to be marked online by NESA markers (unless an application for special consideration is made):

  • English Extension 2
  • Music 1 (compositions)
  • Music 2 and Extension (compositions and musicology)
  • Society and Culture Personal Interest Project

The Special Consideration Program is already in place for students completing language oral and performance exams across the state.

Written exams will go ahead from 19 October and NESA is working closely with NSW Health to ensure strict COVID-safe protocols are in place.

NESA page: COVID-19 Special Consideration Program 

Professional Learning

Assessment and Data Literacy Modules (Ref: 238/21)

Professor Jim Tognolini of the Centre for Educational Measurement & Assessment (CEMA) Sydney University have designed a series of modules in assessment and data literacy.

The modules are NESA Accredited at proficient teacher and available online and on demand. Catholic Schools New South Wales is offering the modules at a reduced price of $270 per teacher per module and we also have fully funded places for Assessment Literacy Module 1 and Data Literacy Module 1 for schools and diocese.

Please contact Mary Ryan for further information and eligibility for access to the sponsored or subsidised modules. 0409 606 437


Finance and Strategic Risk Management for Catholic Schools (Ref: 233/21)

Join us for a one day online course delivered as a live webinar on by Australian Catholic University Executive Education and Catholic Schools NSW. The learning will be led by Michael Willis a board chair and company director with over 28 years’ experience in corporate governance, accounting, and finance. Michael will be joined through the day by Audrey Bower, Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Catholic Schools NSW.

Tuesday 28 September 9am – 4pm

$795 + GST

Registration is available here

For further information contact

0409 606 437


Registrations open for Catholic Schools NSW Virtual Education Law Symposium (Ref: 225/21)

We are excited to announce the 2021 Education Law Symposium will be going ahead in a virtual capacity with a new date of Thursday 23 September 2021. Catholic Schools NSW invites principals, heads of governance and compliance, finance officers and others designated as responsible persons to the 2021 Education Law Symposium: Catholic School Governance for the Common Good.

This professional development forum will cover topics related to the unique governance challenges Catholic schools face. The day will feature presentations by guest speakers and panels, including high profile industry experts and experienced administrators, providing insight and guidance for the future of our sector.

Join us for an enjoyable day of questioning, learning and connecting.

Catholic Schools New South Wales is a NESA approved provider of Governance Training and the Symposium will constitute 6 hours of approved governance training for ‘responsible persons’.

Please register your interest today via this link.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email within 48-72 hours.

If you have any questions please contact


Catholic Schools New South Wales 2021 DISruptABILITY Conference will be delivered with flexibility (Ref: 216/21)

Need flexibility in these ever-changing times? We understand!

In the same way our schools continue to deliver high-quality learning in uncertain and changing times, Catholic Schools New South Wales prioritises high-quality professional learning in a responsive manner during challenging times. Therefore the conference will be hybrid.

What is a hybrid conference?

A hybrid conference is an event that is delivered both in person and via a virtual platform for delegates that are unable or do not wish to attend in person. Hybrid conferences have become extremely popular in the past 18 months as it offers a level of flexibility should the event need to pivot due to government directed restrictions for the delivery of events and gatherings. Our DISruptABILITY 2021 will be delivered as a hybrid conference.

Find answers to all your questions HERE

 WHEN: Thursday 18 & Friday 19 November, 2021

WHERE: Live Manly Novotel, Virtual, On Demand

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: $495 (until 31 August)

AUDIENCE: This conference seeks to be inclusive of all those who provide educational support and care for students with disability in our schools, and so schools are encouraged to bring teams.




National Child Protection Week 2021 Webinar Program (Ref: 226/21)

National Child Protection Week is being held 6-10 September 2021 through a series of webinars.

Every child, in every community, needs a fair go. To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.

Find the full program and join any or all of the webinars HERE.


School Newsletter

Webinar: Supporting Schools during COVID-19 - HeadSpace Schools & Be You (Ref: 237/21)

As NSW endures another lockdown, the mental health issues of students and staff is a major concern. Join Narelle Corless, (Program Manager, HeadSpace Schools) as she discusses the importance of mental health support  & how HeadSpace Schools can help:

September 2, 2021 9:30am-10:30am.

Webinar link here

Contact person: Jennifer Coen, State Manager – Wellbeing.


2021 Principal Survey (Ref: 235/21)

The 2021 Australian School Leaders Occupational Health and Wellbeing survey is for Principals, Assistant Principals and Deputy Principals in every school sector and Australian State and Territory.

2021 Invitation to Participate – ACU Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey

CrookED Science Workshops (Ref: 236/21)

CrookED Science is holding teacher and student workshops. A 25% discount is available through the promo code provided to Catholic Schools New South Wales. Read the PDF’s below for more information.

CrookED Science – T3 2021 – Catholic Students

CrookED Science – T3 2021 – Catholic Teachers


Podcast: Building mental health literacy in schools with Kristen Douglas (Ref: 227/21)

As New South Wales has been forced into a state-wide lockdown, the mental health issues of students, parents & teachers is a major concern.

Jennifer Coen, State Manager (Wellbeing) at Catholic Schools New South Wales speaks with Kristen Douglas the National Director of HeadSpace Schools about the importance of mental health literacy & how HeadSpace Schools can help!