66 student leaders from schools around the Diocese of Parramatta came together on Thursday, June 20 for a leadership forum to explore the future of the Catholic Church and the role that young people play as agents of change.
The Student Leadership Forum has been running since 2014 and is now in its fifth year, bringing together religious and education leaders from the Diocese of Parramatta for an informal and confidential discussion focused around transformation within the Catholic Church.
Holly, a Year 12 leader from Emmaus Catholic College described the experience as “a safe environment for us to voice our opinions and listen to other's perspectives.”
“This forum gave us the opportunity to participate in an active Catholic community with like-minded individuals,” she said.
The first discussion of the day was based around what each student would do if they were made Pope of the Catholic Church for a day. Student leaders from various school communities worked together to provide articulate and thoughtful responses to the challenging question, focusing on promoting transformation, growth and change.
“We look forward to this event every year and understand the importance of listening. Discussions like these are central to the work that we do and your voice plays an important role in that work,” said Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.
The day concluded with a discussion focused around the advice that each student would give to the future school leaders who will succeed them.
CEDP’s Director of Mission, Gary Borg, described the discussion as insightful and informative. “Today was a privileged opportunity to hear our leaders express their views on life, faith and their Catholic schooling experience.”
“They provided many insights and challenges as we continually seek opportunities to be informed and transformed by student voice,” he said.