Mission Inspired Leadership Program 2024

Catholic Social Services Victoria is again offering the Mission Inspired Leadership Program in 2024.

Inspired by gospel values, their dynamic Catholic ethos and identity and Catholic social principles, Catholic social service providers in Victoria work to combat poverty and disadvantage at the local, national and sometimes global level in solidarity with the excluded, while protecting nature, for the common good of all.

To maintain integrity in a highly changeable environment, Catholic social services leaders, board members and expert practitioners need to maintain a strong sense of confidence to best engage in the creative diversity of our sector, so as to meet the challenges of keeping to core purpose while staying principled.

CSSV has designed a four-part learning experience to equip seasoned and emerging leaders as well as expert practitioners with the conceptual tools and approaches they need to deliver social impact and thrive sustainably for the common good.

Although designed primarily with Catholic social services’ staff and Board directors in mind, participants from other sectors have also found this program useful and applicable to their contexts in Diocesan, Health and Education settings.

The program will be held over four sessions: 21 March, 18 April, 23 May, 20 June 2024, 4pm – 6pm.

Cost of the program – CSSV Members: $320, Non-members: $400

Graduates of the learning program experience ongoing mutual support from CSSV and via the relationships built with peers from across the sector.


‘An integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature’
(Pope Francis)

Mission Inspired Leadership is a Professional Development Program of four online evening workshops for leaders, board directors and expert practitioners in Catholic social services that will:

  • Engage the Catholic social services ecosystem – to further mission collaboratively
  • Explore Catholic social teaching as a creative framework – for services and advocacy
  • Connect critical decision-making to organisational purpose – with shared principles
  • Discover new ways of delivering social impact – sustainably with integrity
  • Build connection with peers – in a social, spiritually enriching shared-learning environment.

Session 1: ENGAGE AND COLLABORATE – in the Catholic social care ecosystem (21 March)

Facilitator: Lawrie Hallinan

The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of social and education services in Australia. When compared to more centralised approaches in the social care sector, working in the Catholic social services ecosystem offers more opportunity to innovate and collaborate. We will explore the challenges too; Church leadership styles and priorities are diverse and there are. Where and what might be the opportunities and structures that are unique to the Catholic sector? How might Catholic social care thrive in a broader social service sector made up of faith-based, secular, charitable and for-profit providers who sometimes operate in competition with each other? This workshop will equip you to develop a broader understanding of the Church’s social mission, and equip you to best navigate complexity and work across organisational boundaries for the common good.

Lawrie Hallinan is Executive Director of the Association for Ministerial Public Juridic Persons, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT), Chair of the Australian Jesuits’ Care for our Common Home Committee, and has a background of leadership within the wider social and disability services sector.

Session 2: KEEP TO PRINCIPLE – how to apply purposeful Catholic social principles to social services at the coalface (18 April)

Facilitators: Bruce Duncan C.Ss.R. and Pip McIlroy

Principles are our values in action – and Catholic social teaching has an inspiring but little-understood canon of social principles to guide our vital social service work. They are designed to be universally understood and applied by people of various faiths or none. How can these principles assist Catholic social service providers to respond innovatively to contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges? How might these values assist discernment and decision making? How might they be embedded as organisational culture? Learn about how core Catholic principles promote human dignity and solidarity with the excluded and how they apply when taking action at the local level for the common good.

Bruce Duncan is a Redemptorist Priest, academic and author. He is co-founder of the advocacy organisation Social Policy Connections and a previous Director of the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy.

Pip McIlroy is Manager, People and Leadership Development at Jesuit Social Services. With an academic background in Philosophy, she also holds postgraduate qualifications in Theology and Education. Pip was previously Group Mission Integration Manager – Formation & Ethics for St Vincent’s Health Australia, is a Board Member of the Cardoner Network and is founder and Director of professional training and coaching boutique ‘Checking for Understanding’.

Session 3: TRUE TO PURPOSE – how to keep Catholic social services on mission (23 May)

Facilitator: Belinda Clarke

How can we stay true to purpose and the best of the dynamic Catholic tradition our organisations have developed within? How might mission and purpose be held as central in all organisational practises in a shifting social and political environment and increasing variety of pressures provided by Government, funding and accreditation requirements? Explore creative peer-based leadership approaches that inspire rather than compel; all in a stimulating adult learning environment.

Belinda Clarke is the Executive General Manager of St Joseph Affordable Homes and Centacare Evolve Housing and is a passionate leader, educator and social entrepreneur. Her key areas of expertise are strategy and driving change for the common good. Belinda is committed to collaborating to enable Catholic Social Teaching principles come to life. Belinda is the proud founder of Build Up Tassie, a successful employment and training program and the Social Impact Program, now adapted as a whole of organisation approach at CatholicCare Tasmania.

Session 4: DELIVER SOCIAL IMPACT SUSTAINABLY – how to thrive together for the common good (20 June)

Facilitator: Robyn Miller

This final session brings the first three together and focusses on practical action. How can core purpose and associated principles be best applied within the Catholic social services sector and in our broader community? Learn how to maintain mission and quality under present and prospective funding models while leading and working in teams from diverse backgrounds. How might leadership adopt a strategic approach that brings together delivery of social impact, respects staff security and worth and holds organisational sustainability for the common good.

Dr Robyn Miller is a social worker and family therapist with over thirty years’ experience in the community sector, government and child protection. She was a senior clinician and teacher for fourteen years at the Bouverie Family Therapy Centre, La Trobe University, and part of an innovative team working with families who have experienced trauma and sexual abuse. From 2006-15 Robyn provided professional leadership as the Chief Practitioner within the Department of Human Services in Victoria, and has also worked as a consultant with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Robyn is currently the CEO of MacKillop Family Services, one of the largest providers of specialist services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and their families in Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Northern Territory. Robyn sits on the Board of Catholic Social Services Australia, Australian Cat