There are numerous Catholic school employing authorities in Queensland including the five Catholic Education Offices in the Dioceses and the Archdiocese; Edmund Rice Education Australia (Christian Brothers); and a number of other religious institutes (or Religious Orders).
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) serves as a peak body whose principal goal is the co-ordination and advancement of Catholic education in Queensland. The Commission negotiates and distributes government funding, advocates the position of Catholic education to government and other bodies, communicates and responds to media issues of a state-wide nature, facilitates collaboration between employing authorities in areas such as employee relations and curriculum, and researches and manages relevant statistical and financial data.
QCEC exercises certain state-wide responsibilities in respect of Queensland’s Catholic schools. Many of these are administered by the five autonomous Catholic education authorities in each Diocese headed by a Catholic Bishop.
Direct responsibility for setting policy in each Diocese resides with an education council or board. An Executive Director of Catholic Education implements that policy and administers schools on behalf of the Diocesan authority.
The Commission has the same responsibilities towards the Catholic schools which are accountable to their sponsoring religious institute rather than these Diocesan authorities. These Religious Institute schools are owned and administered by various orders of religious sisters, brothers and priests.
The unique governing arrangements which apply to Queensland’s Catholic schools are products of the relationship between Catholic schools and the Church. This is evidenced in the autonomy enjoyed in individual dioceses and also in the autonomous nature of Religious Institute schools.
This decentralised approach is a feature well suited to Queensland; Australia’s most decentralised state. It is also a further example of the diversified nature of Catholic schooling provision in Queensland.