Chris has extensive experience in teaching and coordinating Religious Education in Catholic secondary schools and tertiary institutions. During the 1990s, he worked as a Religious Education consultant for the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia developing RE materials. Chris is currently the Chair of the Religion and Life Curriculum and Assessment Committee for the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. He has been the Chief Examiner and Chief Marker for the WACE exams in Religion and Life. As Director of the Catholic Institute, Chris is a commissioner on the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia. He is also the Associate Dean of Religious Education in the School of Education at The University of Notre Dame Australia.
Chris teaches in the areas of Religious Education and Catholic studies at the undergraduate and postgraduate tertiary levels as well as teaching in the areas of pastoral care, values education, and spirituality education. He also supervises doctoral students at Notre Dame in Religious Education and in values education. Chris has a particular interest in teacher formation and has published articles and presented at conferences on this subject, especially in regards to the formation of beginning RE teachers. He has also co-published with Associate Professor Shane Lavery in the areas of service learning, student ministry and school retreat training.
Pina commenced with the Catholic Institute in October 2016. For more than 14 years, she has held a variety of administrative and management roles within the State Government. This includes roles in human resources, finance, and policy within the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and as a Management Officer at The Women’s Policy Office.
Damian obtained his teaching degree in Victoria in the late 1970s and came to Perth in 1981. Since then, he has taught in a number of Catholic schools (both small and large) holding the positions of classroom Teacher and Assistant Principal Religious Education.
In 1991, he commenced employment with the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia as a Religious Education Consultant before he was appointed to the position of Coordinator of the K-7 Religious Education Team in 1999. Following that, Damian was appointed Coordinator of the K-12 Religious Education Team in 2005. His role as Coordinator was to oversee the teaching of Religious Education in Catholic schools in Western Australia.
Damian commenced his current position with CIWA at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in 2005. He teaches units in Education, Religious Education and Theology at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Damian has a special interest in the spirituality of teaching and religious education pedagogy and is currently completing his PhD in the area of the spirituality of teaching.
Jessica came to CIWA after working as a Primary School Teacher in both country and metropolitan areas for ten years. She completed her Bachelor of Education (Primary) at The University of Notre Dame Australia and began her teaching career at St Mary’s Primary School in Kalgoorlie. For eight years, Jessica worked at Mater Christi Catholic Primary School in Yangebup where she held the positions of Teacher, Curriculum Co-ordinator and Key Literacy Teacher.
Jessica completed a Master of Education (Religious Education) at The University of Notre Dame in Fremantle and received the prestigious Knights of the Southern Cross postgraduate award for Religious Education. She has a strong interest in the use of storytelling in Religious Education and has completed training to become an accredited Godly Play storyteller.
Alan brings extensive experience in education and teaching developed during 30 years of involvement in Catholic schools in WA. Alan has taught classes from middle primary to Year 12 in a range of schools, during which he has been responsible for positions such as Teacher-in-Charge, Science Coordinator, House Master, Boarding Master, Deputy Principal, and Principal.
As principal, Alan was a member of the Association of Independent Schools of WA, the Catholic Schools Secondary Principals Association, a member of the Australian College of Education, the Australian College of Educational Leadership and chair for the Christian Brothers Education (WA & SA) committee.
Following the completion of a Master’s degree in theological studies, Alan accepted a position as Education Coordinator with Personal Advocacy Service — a small Catholic agency offers a faith-development program for adults with significant intellectual disabilities. Here, Alan oversaw 150 volunteers and leaders as well as assisting the Catechist Service in presenting parent-children workshops for parish-based sacramental programs.
At this time, he also began his involvement with CIWA, preparing, teaching and tutoring units at ECU’s two campuses and at Curtin University, where he now coordinates the Catholic Studies elective stream.
Alan has always been interested in the human elements that make ‘a good school’. He has developed a particular interest in how music, gesture, environment, silence, symbol, and celebration can support adult faith development in place of our usual reliance on words.
John comes to the Catholic Institute having spent the last 30 years as a teacher in six Catholic schools in Western Australia. He has also over 23 years experience as either an Assistant Principal or as an Acting Principal in both city and country locations. John enjoys implementing latest teaching methodology and engaging active learning in the Religious Education Learning Area, whilst relishing the opportunity to mentor both teachers and leaders. The former involved a major part of his PhD thesis completed at The University of Notre Dame Australia, with John also assisting Catholic Education WA with the re-introduction of their Early Career Teacher program.
Jacinta was previously an Assistant Principal and was highly respected for her leadership and initiative in building the curriculum and life of the school. She has postgraduate qualifications in Religious Education and Science Education. She has a strong research interest in engagement with student learning. Jacinta previously taught part-time at UNDA as Coordinator for Primary Religious Education courses and in the postgraduate RE Course: Critical and Creative Thinking in RE.
Megan Franken, Lecturer
BA Grad Dip (Merit) (University of Sydney) Grad Dip (RE) (ACU) Grad Cert (Special Needs Education) (UNDA) M Ed (RE) (UNDA)
Phone: (08) 9241 5248
Megan joined CIWA after many years teaching in secondary Catholic schools in NSW and WA. She has taught classes from Years 7 to 12 in a diverse range of subjects and has worked in a number of roles including Head of Department, Year Coordinator, and Faith and Liturgy Coordinator. Megan began her involvement with CIWA on a sessional basis delivering courses at The University of Notre Dame Australia.
Anita Finneran, Lecturer
Grad Dip Ed (ACU) Cert RE (ACU) M A Theological St (UNDA)
Phone: (08) 9241 5250
Anita Finneran is an innovative, enthusiastic, dynamic educator and faith leader. She has a strong capacity to engage and motivate colleagues, students and communities. Her educational leadership promotes a high standard of academic excellence, an active and participatory spirituality and a commitment to and experience of social justice. Anita has previously worked as a Justice Educator for Caritas.
She has extensive experience in secondary education and adult faith formation. Anita has held various positions including Religious Education Coordinator at Holy Spirit College, Sydney and Project Officer – Evangelisation in Secondary Schools and Faith Formation Advisor at the Catholic Education Office in Sydney. She has a great interest in the Creative Arts; particularly creative writing and theatre. Anita also enjoys using music and her guitar as a way to connect participants in workshops during faith formation experiences.
The Most Reverend Gerard Holohan
Bishop of Bunbury
Deputy Chair (Ex-Officio)
Dr Chris Hackett
Director, Catholic Institute of Western Australia
Conference of Catholic Bishops in Western Australia (Ex-Officio)
Deputy Executive & Director Catholic Identity, Catholic Education Western Australia
Catholic Primary Principal Association Nominee
Principal, St Anthony Primary School
Conference of Catholic Bishops in Western Australia Nominee
Sr Joan Buckham RSM
Catholic Secondary Principals Association Nominee
Principal, St Clare’s School
Catholic Religious Western Australia Nominee
Sr Margaret Scharf OP
Director, Dominican Institute for Spirituality
Office Manager, Catholic Institute of Western Australia