Mary Retel appointed to CORMSAA

13 May 2023 by

The AMPJP Council recently appointed Mary Retel as the inaugural Western Australian representative to CORMSAA. Mary’s appointment means that CORMSAA has its full complement of members enabling it to better hear and reflect the perspectives of Religious Institutes and Ministerial PJPs across the States/Territories of Australia.


Mary Retel, BA, DipEd, MEdLdshp


Mary Retel was the Deputy Director of Catholic Education in Western Australia and the Executive Secretary of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA) for 10 years. Mary also oversaw Catholic Education in the Kimberley further developing a very strong interest and passion for aboriginal education. Prior to this, Mary was the first lay Principal of St Brigid’s College, a K-12 Mercy school in Lesmurdie and was in this role for 13 years. Whilst in this role, Mary was the President of the Catholic Secondary Principals Association for several years.

Before joining Catholic Education, Mary worked in Education Department schools first as teacher and then in Senior Leadership positions. She was seconded to the Unit for Organisational Change in Head Office where she travelled the state assisting schools in strategic planning, establishing school improvement plans and managing change.

Majoring in English and Languages at UWA, Mary has taught French, German, Italian and Spanish. She is also fluent in Croatian. She is committed to lifelong learning obtaining a Masters in Leadership and a Certificate in Total Quality Management. Mary has a keen interest in continuous improvement and has attended and facilitated numerous workshops. She is an accredited facilitator of Dr Stephen Covey’s, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and Fr Justin Belitz’s, “Success: Full Living.”

Mary is a believer in the critical importance of education where parents, staff and students work with the community in order to offer each young person the opportunity to fully discover and develop their God-given talents. Her adage: ‘It is our attitude not our aptitude which determines our altitude’ has been heard by thousands of young people and their parents throughout the years as they were encouraged and challenged to accept responsibility, to develop their talents and to work for a more just and Christ centred world.

A committed Catholic, Mary passionately believes in the worth of all of God’s creation and particularly in preserving the dignity of the most vulnerable.

Mary is married and has basked in the support of her husband and three children throughout her career. The family has now increased and is blessed with nine grandchildren.

Mary continues to serve on the Boards of: Mercy Education Ltd (Board Director) (Mercy Ministry Companions) and Mazenod College (Board Chair) (Oblates of Mary Immaculate).

She also runs a consultancy.



 Religious Institute and Ministerial PJP Catholic Schools in Western Australia are:

Church Authority


2022 enrolment

Edmund Rice Education Australia Aquinas College, Salter Point


Edmund Rice College, Bindoon


Christian Brothers College, Fremantle


Trinity College, East Perth


Flexible Learning Centre, Geraldton (incl. Carnarvon)


Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters) Loreto Nedlands, Perth


John XXIII College, Mount Claremont [Shared Governance with Archdiocese of Perth]


Marist Brothers Newman College


Mercy Ministry Companions Mercedes College, Perth


St Brigid’s College, Lesmurdie


Santa Maria College, Attadale


Norbertine Canons St Norbert’s College, Queens Park


Oblates of Mary Immaculate Mazenod College, Lesmurdie


Servite Friars Servite College, Tuart Hill