Dr Chris Hackett, Managing Director

BA (UWA), BEd (UWA), Grad Dip Arts in RE (ECU), MREd (UNDA), Ph D (UNDA)


Phone: : +61 8 9278 0223

Dr Chris Hackett has a background in academic research and teaching in Catholic Religious Education. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Masters in Religious Education from The University of Notre Dame Australia. His research interests are in the development of spiritual and religious capabilities in the Catholic school curriculum and the faith formation of early career RE teachers and leaders.

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 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.


Wendy Young, Senior Administration Officer: Finances


Phone: +61 8 9278 0224


Wendy has just recently joined the Catholic Institute – in January 2022.  She worked previously as a Personal Assistant to the Director of Education, Department of Education, South Metro Regional Office.   Prior to that Wendy worked for 12 years as an Administration Assistant at The University of Notre Dame Fremantle and brings with her many years of experience in the public and private education sectors. She worked closely with Academics, Coordinators and students while at Notre Dame and has a sound understanding of the tertiary sector, undergraduate and post graduate.

Wendy enjoys a challenge and working with colleagues to build productive relationships within a team environment, she is excited to be part of the CIWA team.


Roz McCracken, Senior Administration Officer: Operations


Phone: +61 8 9278 0224


Roz joined the Catholic Institute in May 2022 and brings a wealth of administrative knowledge, having worked for 16 years in the School of Education at The University of Notre Dame Australia. In her role as Administrative Coordinator for Postgraduate Studies, she worked supporting the postgraduate program coordinator and postgraduate student. Roz also provided administrative support to the School’s leadership, lecturers and office staff in utilising office technology, online learning management systems and newly introduced software systems. Prior to working at the Notre Dame, Roz worked for 12 years as an Administration Officer at the Telstra Business Centre during the inception of mobile communication and technology within Australia.

Roz enjoys using her positive attitude and tireless energy to help and support others in both her professional and personal life.



Megan Franken, Coordinator: Teaching and Learning

BA Grad Dip (Merit) (University of Sydney) Grad Dip (RE) (ACU) Grad Cert (Special Needs Education) (UNDA) M Ed (RE) (UNDA)


Phone: +61 8 9278 0225

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.

John Topliss

Dr John Topliss, Program Coordinator: Research and Scholarship

BA in Education (ECU), BEd (ECU), MEd (UNDA), PhD (UNDA)


Phone +61 8 9278 0224

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.


Joanne Harris, Program Coordinator: Formation and Renewal

BA in Education (ECU), BEd (ECU), MEd (RE) (UNDA)


Phone: +61 8 9278 0226

Joanne comes to the Catholic Institute with a vast experience in Catholic Education.  She spent many years working in Catholic schools both in WA (regional and urban) and in Papua New Guinea.  Jo has worked as an Assistant Principal (Religious Education) and short-term Principal at numerous schools.  More recently, she has worked at the Catholic Education Western Australia as a Religious Education consultant in the Perth, Broome and Geraldton dioceses.  Jo has completed her Master of Education (Religious Education) and has special interests in Biblical storytelling (being a trained Godly Play storyteller) and embedding Aboriginal perspectives into Religious Education.

Margaret Scharf 2022

Dr Margaret Scharf OP,
Senior Lecturer & Chief Facilitator, Galilee Spiritual & Faith Formation Program

D Min Spiritual Direction (Graduate Theological Foundation, Indiana); MA Spirituality (Gonzaga University) M Ed Religious Studies (ECU) Grad Dip Arts Intercultural Studies (Aboriginal) (ECU)


Phone: +61 8 9278 0224

Dr Margaret Scharf OP is a Dominican Sister whose major ministry involves the spiritual and faith formation of adults. Sr Margaret is the chief spiritual and faith formation facilitator for CIWA. Margaret also offers professional development and retreat days for staff of Catholic schools in WA and facilitates the Galilee ‘grassroots’ programs. She holds a doctorate in Ministry in Spiritual Direction, and is a spiritual director, doctoral supervisor, and highly experienced and engaging adult faith facilitator.

Tania Hicks

Dr Tania Hicks, Senior Lecturer

B.A. (English) (CU), Grad. Dip. Ed. (ECU), M. Ed. (RE) (UNDA), Ed.D. (UNDA)


Phone: +61 8 9278 0221


Tania is an experienced educator who is passionate about fostering student spiritual growth across the curriculum. Her research in this field earned her a Doctor of Education from the University of Notre Dame Australia. Tania’s career includes a depth of academic and pastoral leadership roles in the Catholic and government secondary school settings. Now in the university sector, she enjoys teaching a variety of Catholic education courses at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is a member of Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE) and holds strong interests in spirituality, pastoral care, and student and staff wellbeing.


Nathan Leber

Dr Nathan Leber, Senior Lecturer

Ph D


Phone: +61 8 9278 0221

Nathan has worked across Australia in tertiary, secondary and primary education in independent, Catholic and government schools. He holds a PhD in Classic and Ancient History from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Education (RE) from The University of Notre Dame Australia. Nathan has a strong affinity with Ignatian Spirituality, having worked with the Jesuits in Sydney and Adelaide, and is passionate about pastoral care, Catholic identity, and the Catholic Social Justice Tradition. Before CIWA, Nathan worked as a Justice Educator for Caritas Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. He has a keen interest in scripture and its continuing relevance and revelation and, prior to his career in education, was a professional musician trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.


Juliette Stock, Lecturer

M Ed (RE) (UNDA)


Phone: +61 8 9278 0224


Juliette has come to CIWA after working as a Secondary School Teacher in both country and metropolitan areas in Western Australia. She has completed a double degree Bachelor of Education (Secondary) / Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Education) at The University of Notre Dame Australia including distinction grades in Religious Education and Theology. Juliette received the Br Gerald T Faulkner award for contribution to Notre Dame’s School of Education through community service and contribution to the Retreat Leaders Training Program from 2005-2010. Juliette was instrumental in establishing the Notre Dame Education Society as the inaugural President. She began her teaching career at Santa Maria College in HASS and Religious Education. Juliette then expanded her teaching practice at John Paul College Kalgoorlie and Corpus Christi College in Bateman where she held the positions of ATAR Specialist Teacher and Christian Service-Learning Coordinator Years 7-12. Juliette has completed a Master of Education (Religious Education) at The University of Notre Dame in Fremantle with distinction grades whilst on maternity leave and relief teaching/sessional university tutoring. Juliette has a strong interest in service learning and staff faith formation.

Catholic Institute Council Members

Chair (Ex-Officio)
The Most Reverend Gerard Holohan
Bishop of Bunbury
Deputy Chair (Ex-Officio)
Dr Chris Hackett
Managing Director,
Catholic Institute of Western Australia
CEWA Director of Religious Education Nominee (Ex-Officio)
Reverend Mark Powell
Director, Religious Education
CEWA Executive Director Nominee (Ex-Officio)
Mr Paul Leuba
Chief Finance Officer, Finance and Property


Catholic Primary Principal Association Nominee
Dr Siobhan Galos
Principal, St Michael’s Catholic Primary School
Catholic Secondary Principals Association Nominee
Clare Kanakis
Principal, St Clare’s School
Conference of Catholic Bishops in Western Australia Nominee
Peter Yensch
Catholic Religious Western Australia Nominee
Sr Catherine Warner PBVM


Executive Secretary
Wendy Young
Senior Administration Officer, Finance
Catholic Institute of Western Australia
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