AMPJP Council Strategic Issues Forum and Council meeting 16-17 May 2021

27 May 2021 by

23 participants from all of the 11 AMPJP members plus two representatives from the Institute of Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea: Mercy Ministry Companions gather at Peter Canisius House, Pymble on 16-17 May 2021.



  1. Presentation of the initial draft of 5-year AMPJP Review Report


Les Stahl (Principal: Facilitation Plus Australia Pty Ltd) spoke to a previously circulated document summarising the main results of the 5-year Review that he had conducted.  The main finding was that there was strong support for the AMPJP and its place in the Church with a number of suggestions about its possible future path and activities. There was a low response rate from MPJP Canonical Stewards (28%). AMPJP Council will consider the final draft report before deciding what, if any, change it will make to its future direction. AMPJP will circulate a high-level summary to survey participants.


  1. Strategic review

Moira Najdecki and Eva Skira presented an overview of achievements and activities of the past five years. They discussed the main outcomes of the November 2019 Forum in Melbourne, the achievements since then and the zoom formation sessions and other collaborative efforts.


Participants formed four groups to discuss two questions:

    1. “Are these the right strategic priorities?”
    2. “What else should be included 1-5yrs and 5-10yrs?”


The main points were:

    • More support for the identity, formation and interest in the role of Canonical Stewards;
    • Reach more people and better communicate our Association;
    • Help develop lay leadership model;
    • Communion with rest of Church essential especially in ensuring greater involvement in decision making by laity;
    • Common terminology for AMPJP and MPJPs; and
    • Enhance participatory, inclusive governance and synodality of AMPJP.


  1. Ministry specific meetings

There was a meeting of sponsors of education ministries. The main outcome was to hold a Committee of Religious Institute and Ministerial PJP School Authorities Australia (CORMSAA) Forum in Brisbane before the AMPJP AGM and to encourage Religious Institute – Ministerial PJPs in South Australia to hold regular meetings (as is the case in other States).

There was also a meeting of sponsors of health ministries. The main outcome was the decision to form an ongoing group that will meet via videoconference in the next 1-2 months and hold a meeting in Brisbane within the AMPJP Forum.


  1. AMPJP draft Formation Framework for Canonical Stewards

Peter Pritchard and Eileen Young presented the work of the formation working group. The meeting strongly endorsed the AMPJP Formation Framework for Canonical Stewards.


The meeting agreed to:

    • adopt the document: AMPJP Formation Framework for Canonical Steward
    • to apply to the Framework document a Creative Commons Licence. as detailed in the briefing paper;
    • thanks the AMPJP Formation Framework Working Group for their work and closes this working group; and
    • develop terms of reference for a Formation Committee that will plan and deliver formation activities according to the Framework’s formation principles (Terms of Reference to be presented to the 08 June 2021 AMPJP Council meeting).


  1. Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL)

Mary McComish, AMPJP nominee to ACSL Board gave an overview of the work of the ACSL Board.


  1. Plenary Council

Lana Turvey-Collins (Plenary Council Facilitator) addressed the meeting via videoconference. She explained the Plenary Council processes and Member roles. She said that she will send AMPJP the Plenary Council agenda. She encouraged AMPJP to suggest reading material and other resources that might assist Plenary Council Members become familiar with MPJPs. The meeting discussed laity in Church governance as the main contribution that AMPJP could bring to the Plenary Council.


  1. AMPJP AGM and Canonical Stewards Forum 22-23 Aug 2021

The meeting discussed the AMPJP AGM and Canonical Stewards Forum 22-23 Aug 2021. A work group will finalise the program and other details ASAP.


  1. Paper: “Member in an Australian MPJP”

The meeting noted the valuable information presented in the paper: Member in an Australian MPJP. The 08 June 2021 AMPJP Council meeting to decide further action on the paper.


  1. AMPJP relationship with CRA

The meeting noted that AMPJP currently works cooperatively with CRA in two significant areas:

    1. CORMSAA and the ongoing work of education ministries is common to MPJPs and CRA members; and
    2. CRA and AMPJP also share membership of ACSL.


AMPJP will engage CRA in discussion about appropriate ways to enhance the AMPJP-CRA relationship.


  1. Centre for Catholic Leadership and Governance

The meeting discussed the possible response to the ACBC inquiry about MPJP interest in a possible Centre for Catholic Leadership and Governance.


  1. Possible change to AMPJP Council membership

The meeting supported the proposal to change the AMPJP Constitution to allow all Member Representatives to be AMPJP Councillors. The AMPJP Executive Officer is to obtain legal advice and report to the AMPJP Council meeting on 08 June 2021.


  1. CORMSAA Report

Phil Billington informed the meeting that CORMSAA will meet on the following day. She said that the Position Paper will be finalised soon and then consultation will begin with Bishops, Diocesan Directors and State Education Commissions. CORMSAA has one vacancy which it is hoping to fill with someone from Western Australia.


Next Council meeting: 08 June 2021 10.00am – 12.00 noon (AEST) via videoconference