This week Cairns Catholic Education Services farewelled leader and lifelong contributor Ursula Elms after a dedicated decade serving as the Director – Learning and Teaching and a half century in Catholic education.
Ursula is the epitome of what it means to be a leader and lifelong contributor to Catholic education in the Diocese of Cairns. Her more than 50 years in Catholic education began when she was a student attending St Monica’s Primary School and St Monica’s College. Ursula attended Teachers College in Townsville and was offered a position with Catholic Education prior to graduating – a testament to her potential to be a considerable influence in the Diocese. She has exceeded expectations through her contribution as class teacher, sports coordinator, Curriculum Support Teacher, APRE and Principal across a number of rural and Cairns city schools. Her more recent service has been as Assistant Executive Director/Director – Learning and Teaching. The variety of roles undertaken attests to her highly developed leadership skills and lifelong commitment to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cairns.
Ursula has held the role of Assistant Executive Director/Director – Learning and Teaching for 10 years. In this role, she has led teams of dedicated professional consultants, leaders and managers, her focus always on improving the wellbeing and learning of students. During this time, she has made a significant contribution to setting the direction for Learning and Teaching across the Diocese. Her strategic understanding of the future of P-12 education and global trends, and her emphasis on the wellbeing and learning for ALL students, has enabled her to successfully guide the learning and teaching agenda for the Diocese.
Ursula has also contributed to the development of Catholic education at a state level, providing service to Queensland Catholic Education through her involvement in numerous working parties, committees and implementation teams at the state level.
A truly humble person, Ursula’s commitment, professionalism and servant leadership will ensure that Cairns Catholic Education will continue to offer a world-class education, enriched through a lived encounter with the Catholic faith, now and into the future.